Stolen Bird Mystery Solved In Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Some thieves steal jewelry or flat screen TVs, but in all his years of investigation, Pittsburgh Police Burglary Detective Bob Harbaugh has never recovered a stolen blue macaw.

“I don’t think I’ll ever come across this type of case again,” he said.

The bird’s name is Blue and he was stolen from a house in Coaldale, Pa., in suburban Philadelphia in the beginning of February.

This morning, police found Blue and arrested Jonathan Butruch at a house on Mount Washington after they say the people he was staying with posted pictures of the bird on Facebook.

Police had been investigating Butruch in connection with other burglaries and suspect he tried to cash in Blue to support a drug habit.

“I believe that he tried to pawn it at one point,” Harbaugh said.

Blue was stolen from the home of Wendy Vachon, Butruch’s ex-girlfriend, who today drove five hours to reclaim her bird whom she believed she would never see again.

And she was effusive in her praise for Detective Harbaugh.

“The man does not know me. We’ve only spoken on the phone and I live five hours away,” Vachon said. “If it was not for him and his efforts and the efforts of the Coaldale Police Department, this would have never happened.”

Blue is headed back home and Butruch has found a new home at the Allegheny County Jail.

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  • servantoftruth

    What undenial filth this “man” is. He would jeapordize an innocent life, alebit a bird, for a few tokes of crack. Some “people” have no right to be free. Some give up that right. Drug addicts tae up more than just space, they are pains in the arse. This woman has to drive 5 hours to get her bird back. Girls, Boys, don;t get hooked up with druggies. They don;t care about you. They only care what you can do for them or what they can get from you. When people abuse drugs or anything, they stop maturing because they lose the ablity to interact with the world and their ability to grow from that experience. Get out from that mess. RIght now.

    • GeezLouise

      There are many terrible things drug addicts do for fixes. And arguments can be made a multitude of different ways as to how much fault you can shoulder on the person in lieu of their addiction. However, a 5-hour drive to reclaim a bird hardly merits such a rant.

      And besides, if you are so concerned about the “life” of a bird, then why don’t you condemn this lady for forcing something with such a wide range to live in captivity. Is that not a far greater injustice than moving the thing from one cage to another?

  • Roto Rooter

    That looks like the bird Gillese plumbing has, he robbed more people than this crackhead

  • A. Cantrell

    My blue and gold Macaw was stolen by someone I used to date. I’m glad to see the Pittsburgh police decided to do something here! I hand fed my bird. since it was a bald baby! I still miss her. People just don’t understand how much of a part of our lives these birds become! I have had dogs too but this is so different! these birds might as well be my kids!

  • johnny69

    String the dirtball up. His friends had to know he stole it, string them up as well. If we eliminate bad people, the bad people can’t eliminate us. And they DO want to eliminate us.

  • A. Cantrell

    cage!???? That’s another thing people don’t get. My house is my bird’s cage! and a lot of time that’s not even true. I take my birds for car rides and walks. they have free reign of my house. they only “Do their thing” on newspaper or grass. Their wings are trimmed so they do not fly. This way they can’t accidentally fly into a pot of boiling water or some other freak nightmare occurrence. My Macaws tended to use my poor Shetland Sheepdog as a taxi! I could go on for days!!!!!

  • Margie H

    So glad you have your bird back! Pets are our family members! How awesome is that police officer to crack the case!!

    • Margie H

      He got a jail bird and freed a bird all in one day!!

  • Birdnapper 5000

    soooo..was there just no reportable news to write about today? who cares about this?

  • Crystal ferraro

    Jonathan getting caught on this was a long time coming. Not only was he a drug addict, and theif. But he was also a bigamist, and a dead beat dad who ran from his responsiablties as a father and owes 40,000 dollars in child support. So now everyone finally knows where and how to catch up with him. Gotta love Facebook guess his girlfriend shouldn’t have accepted my friend request and gave Wendy and I get access to evidence they were denying having any part of. Karmas a b**ch and he got his. Now I cam get my divorce papers signed and leave him in my past yay.

  • Fed up

    How is it that after robbing so many people so many times and getting caught with hardcore evidence this guy is let out on bail late last night and he was already on bail. There are peole out there that do jail time for petty stuff even when there is no physical evidence this guy was caught red handed for numerous things and he walks. He could probably kill someone walk in to the police station with the persons blood on his hands and admit it and walk free. What is wrong with our justice system. I need to know who to contact and make a complant I hope he never gets hired by anyone out in Pittsburgh or anywhere for that matter. Now people have to fear how he plans to retLiate against them for him getting caught. What a great system we have glad to see where my tax dollars go

  • karma

    you said it girl.. But i still have to believe that he will pay for what he has done… there is hardcore evidence just as you said and he will be in court if he doesn’t run.. he keeps adding charges all the time.. His day will come..HE WILL GO TO JAIL.. but you and i both know that each day he is out is just another day he will commit more crimes. I really hope the people of Pittsburgh keep all their windows and door locked.. At least now the people of Pittsburgh know what this criminal looks like and where he lives by this news cast…so people of Pittsburgh be careful because he is back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Cnb Birds

    Wow, if truer words were ever writtten! I know from first hand experience that Gillese are crooks and liars.

  • john

    ok first of all this women never took care of the bird it would go months without cleaning of the cage days wit no water nor food but im the bad guy

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