Retrospectacle: A Neuroscience Blog

My oh my oh my, parrots really are the cause of so much human suffering aren’t they? I couldn’t wait to post this until Friday Grey Matters, well, because Irene Pepperberg’s interview will be featured this week (a long time coming, but we finally had a little chat Sunday night). So stay tuned for that, good stuff from an exceptionally smart and kind person.

Anyway, back to parrot-induced bank robberies:

A Murfreesboro [Tennessee] man told authorities he robbed MidSouth Bank on East College Street Monday because he “lost his job, tried for another and didn’t get it, and his dog ate his parrot.”

Police said Thomas Michael Crews Jr., of 319 E. Burton St. entered the bank at 1:23 p.m. and demanded cash.

He gave the teller a note which stated: “I’d like to make a withdrawal of $2,000. Either pay now or be the first to die,” police said.

The teller gave Crews an undetermined amount of cash. He then ran out of the westside door of the bank and traveled north on Church Street, police said.

Murfreesboro Police Public Information Officer Alvin Baird said the dye pack went off as Crews crossed College Street, where the suspect dropped an undetermined amount of money. That money was recovered.

“No weapon was seen at any time, and no one was injured during the robbery,” Baird said.

Crews was captured after about a two-hour search, police said.

This story is disturbing on so many levels. First, the terrible end that the poor parrot met with at the hands of that incompetent owner. Who is also an incompetent bank robber. Hello? Who asks for only two grand if you’re taking the risk of prison? And, no weapon? Didn’t check for the dye pack? Ran away on foot? This guy didn’t deserve to own a parrot and he obviously couldn’t string together a few meaningful conscious thoughts.

Now, of course, I’m not saying there’s any *right* way to rob a bank (and thank the FSM no one was hurt). But if this guy could have figured out how to remove the safety and pull a trigger, well, I’d eat my hat. (Hat tip darkman)

Comments

  1. #1 J-Dog
    December 5, 2006

    RRRWK! Polly wants $10,000 Crackers! RRWK!

    BTW – Consider this: Is it at all possible, that parrots contain a gene that gives off a chemical that re-acts with humans to cause them to turn to a life of piracy and depravity? Wasn’t there a report @ a year ago that cat’s can affect humans adversly? As a parrot owner, aren’t
    you the least bit tempted to pillage your way accross the Spanish Main? Especially becasue it’s so frigging cold in Ann Arbor about now? ARRRR, for the life of a Pirate sez I!

  2. #2 AgnosticOracle
    December 5, 2006

    I think J-Dog may be on to something. Perhaps there is a parrot equivalent to Toxoplasma (I assume that is the parasite he was thinking of). I wonder if could use that as a legal defense; temporary insanity due to owning a parrot. Physical symptoms include slight bruising on the hands. Psychological symptoms include the tendency to make squaking noises, and the belief that pets should talk back to you.

  3. #3 Peter
    December 5, 2006

    He turned to crime after the parrot was killed. I think the parrot, the smart one in the family, was keeping him in line.

  4. #4 Shelley Batts
    December 5, 2006

    Brilliant! I’m sure there must be a significant link between parrots and a life of pillaging ‘o the wat’try main. And where do people/pirates keep their parrots? On their shoulder, so close to their mouths/noses to breathe in that pirate-making chemical!

    I can see it now “The Effects of Parrot ‘Pirate Hormone’ on the Incidence of Pillaging and Peg-leggery.”

  5. #5 Roy
    December 5, 2006

    Careful Shelley, you never know what’s going to happen when you say say things like I’ll eat my hat. ;)

    I almost feel bad for the guy- what if he was a reasonably intelligent, upstanding kind of guy, but his wife/girlfriend/boyfriend/child/mail-carrier was the incompetent one, and brought a dog into the house while he was away, and it killed the parrot, and when he got home and saw what had happened, he was so distraught that he… uh… thought that the only way to recover… would be to… um…
    rob a bank.
    Hmmm.
    Okay. That doesn’t seem very likely, does it?
    Somehow, I suspect his day in court will be a short one.

  6. #6 Sandra Porter
    December 5, 2006

    I wonder what kind of dog he had. Many parrots could probably hold their own against ordinary dogs.

  7. #7 Thomas Crews
    February 13, 2007

    Okay, I know it may seem rediculous to you, but the papers
    have taken this one circumstance and made it to come across
    as funny. There were a lot of other things going on at that
    time in my life and I don’t think any of you bloggers are any better.

    Thomas Crews

    SB: Nope, nobody’s claiming to be better. It was just presented as a weird story by the media, and people respond to that. Welcome to America.

  8. #8 Kyle Crews
    July 18, 2010

    this was my uncle… he told me everything that has happend…theres alot more then the story above tells… he does have alot of pets…dogs,cats,fish; he snapped. you ever had a crazy second? my uncle tom, freaked… that was a 2 grand bird and he wanted his money back… he went crazy… you guys are sick for posting that he is a bad person when all he did was make a bad decision. he is the smartest man on earth. he reconnected me with my mom, he saved my family. hes had 2 successful jobs since hes been home and him and my aunt kim live happily…