A thief may have been grilled by the very item he stole after a talkative parrot - whose favourite phrases included "what you doing" - was stolen from a Whangarei home.
Bella - a blue ring neck parrot - was stolen from its cage at an Otaika Rd house on Tuesday night.
It was the second pet parrot stolen from the address within about five weeks.
Lauren Chisnall has kept the parrot for about a year and can't understand why anyone would take the bird.
Another parrot landed on her property during Cyclone Lusi and it later was stolen from a cage it was kept in.
"I've heard cases of a few parrots being stolen some weeks ago and thought the one that came here could have been one of those. I kept it for four weeks then it went missing from its cage.
"I thought someone took it. I didn't really think much about it but when my parrot got stolen, I became suspicious," she said.
Ms Chisnall bought Bella for between $400-$500 from Kerikeri and had its wings clipped.
She had covered Bella's cage with a blanket and secured it with pegs. The cage was kept outside on the deck.
When she checked on Wednesday morning, the pegs had been removed but the cage was closed and the blanket still on.
"She was a lot quieter than the other one but would say words like 'hello', 'what you doing?', 'goodbye', 'goodnight' - mostly to herself."
With the parrot having a distinctive ring neck and colour, she hopes someone may recognise her pet and promptly inform the police.
"It [the theft] must have been done at night. Our dogs are kept inside at night so if someone came on to our property, we wouldn't know."
Sergeant Paul Nicholas said anyone with information on Bella could contact Whangarei police on 09 4304500 or call Crimestoppers on 0800555111.
"Or if anyone is offered a parrot for sale and they think it is suspicious they should also contact police," Mr Nicholas said.