A BID to steal a popular parrot was foiled when a neighbourhood watch scheme helped identify the suspected thieves' gpetaway car.
Thanks to a chain of texts between neighbours in Dunshaughlin, Co Meath, members of the garda 'flying squad' were able to rescue Pixie within half an hour.
The bird's owner, Paul Barr, said: "Text alerts were sent to every household in the village and all the roads were watched, and within 20 minutes someone had seen the car."
The seven-year-old African Grey, a family pet, is always on his perch outside Mr Barr's photography shop.
"People love him. He wolf-whistles at women, he barks at dogs and has a vocabulary of about 2,000 words," said Mr Barr.
Speaking of the foiled 'birdnapping', he added: "A customer said he'd seen a fella running up the street with Pixie and had got into a waiting car."
CCTV meant details of the vehicle were known within minutes, and the Neighbourhood Watch texts circulated an alert.
Mr Barr said: "I believe Pixie was meant to be a Christmas present for someone."
Several men were arrested when gardai stopped a car.
One is expected in court next week.