John Kaiyalethe, 27, of St. Paul, said 45 birds belonging to him and his younger brother, Philip, were stolen Monday night or early Tuesday from lofts in the back yard of their father's home, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported Thursday.
Kaiyalethe estimated the total worth of the lost birds at about $20,000, including a $10,000 price tag for a bird named The Godfather. He said the bird commanded such a high price tag because he was a reliable breeder and the son of Rambo, a champion homing pigeon that raced in Belgium and was worth $58,000.
Kaiyalethe said local pigeon racers occasionally have trouble with birds being stolen for food, but he believes the thieves in this incident were after racers because they left behind two less valuable birds not used for racing or breeding.
"That's kind of how you know they knew what they were looking for," Kaiyalethe said.