Bird theft suspect caught after shootout

February 18, 2010 7:46:30 AM PST
A man believed to be responsible for the theft of a $1,600 Naperville bird has been arrested in Indiana.A macaw was stolen from a Petland store on Rt. 59 in mid-January.

Indiana police said the suspect fired 50 to 60 shots with an assault rifle and a handgun as Indiana authorities attempted to serve a warrant Monday. Michael Drogosz, 27, is the man believed responsible for the Jan. 19 theft of a green, 7-month-old female bird.

Police Sgt. Brian Cunningham said information reported through Naperville Crime Stoppers led Friday to the macaw's recovery and put investigators on Drogosz's trail.

That trail led to the Bass Lake area in Starke County, Ind. Starke County sheriff's Officer John Ferguson and Detective Bill Dulin said at a Wednesday hearing they went Monday to 5196 E. Summerhome Drive in Bass Lake to serve Drogosz with an Illinois felony warrant for the Naperville theft, which led to a lengthy shootout involving several officers and civilians.

Eventually, a SWAT team arrived from Pulaski County, Ind., and ended the standoff, firing tear gas rounds into a back bedroom. A fire started in the house, and Drogosz finally left the home and was captured.

Firefighters standing by put out the fire, which had damaged most of a bedroom.

A State Police technician, with a search warrant, went into the house, and with ATF officers, found more than 30 SKS 308 fully automatic assault rifles, with 30-round clips that were taped together in pairs, a duffel bag with Molatov cocktails and a pipe bomb that was attached to a propane tank.

Drogosz could face additional charges of attempted criminal recklessness, and a serious violent felon in possession of firearm charge, as well as attempted aggravated battery.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.