A fresh twist has emerged in the case of a $160,000 Big Bird costume that was allegedly stolen from a Sesame Street-themed circus as police hunt for a third suspect.
Tasman Binder, 22 and Cody Alain Milne, 26, are currently before the courts accused of stealing the big yellow bird costume from the travelling show in Bonython Park, in Adelaide‘s north west, between Sunday April 18 and Monday 19 this year.
But investigators believe a woman may have also been involved in the alleged theft of the character, which was found abandoned at the circus days later with an apology letter – signed off by the ‘Big Bird Bandits’ – stuffed inside its beak.
South Australia Police have released images of a woman (pictured) they would like to speak to in relation to the alleged theft of a $160,000 Big Bird costume from an Adelaide circus earlier this year
‘Recent investigations have uncovered CCTV suggesting a previously unknown third suspect was involved,’ SA Police said in a statement.
‘Police have been so far unable to identify the woman and appeal for her to come forward.’
The woman, who has medium-length blonde hair, was captured on CCTV wearing a white tank-top, track pants, and sneakers.
Anyone who recognised the woman or has anything information that may help identify her are urged to contact Crime Stoppers.
South Australia police shared their appeal for assistance on Twitter, prompting several social media users to speculate over the mysterious woman’s identity.
‘Surely the DPP (Director of Public Prosecution) are not spending more on this. It’s Courtney Love,’ one person joked.
‘I believe it is Scarlett Johansson,’ another added, while a third said: ‘[She] stepped straight out of a spy movie.’
‘Give her a beak… a break,’ someone else chimed.
The new development comes as Milne and Binder were unmasked as mullet-sporting hipsters as they faced their first court appearance last month.
Cody Alain Milne, 26, (pictured left) from Norwood, and Tasman Binder, 22, (right) from Murray Bridge, faced Adelaide Magistrate Court last month – and put on quite a show
The duo, who have each been charged with an aggravated count of dishonestly taking property without consent, faced Adelaide Magistrates Court on June 30, where they were granted bail.
They wore their best outfits as they sashayed down the steps – being asked by reporters if they ‘knew where Sesame Street is’.
The pair were then picked up by a moustache-sporting mate who referred to his old car as a ‘limo’.
The hipsters – who both wore white turtle neck sweaters, a gold necklace, oval-lensed sunglasses, and blazers – put on quite a show as they departed the courthouse.
The outfits were remarkably similar to those worn by Bruce Willis and Billy Bob Thornton in the action classic Bandits.
With a group of supporters and a vehicle waiting for them out front, the pair shot an in-sync glance at each other, slid on their glasses, then strutted to the car.
The Big Bird costume was found dumped at the circus (pictured) days after it went missing, with a note stuffed inside its beak
The driver, who appeared to be wearing a fake black moustache, ordered reporters to ‘back away from the limo’.
As the pair jumped inside the vehicle, the driver, struggling to operate the manual vehicle, made a few botched attempts to reverse before finally speeding away.
Just hours later, Mr Milne and Mr Binder took to their Instagram accounts to joke about the media coverage they had attracted.
In his story, Mr Milne shared a photo of himself sitting in bed, covered in a tiger blanket with a big bird sleep mask wrapped around his head, and a mug in his hand.
In yellow font, he captioned the photo: ‘Coming down with the bird flu’.
Other photos in his story showed snaps of him and his co-accused leaving court, and a clip of the pair laughing hysterically while watching a new report about themselves on television.
Mr Binder (pictured) and Mr Milne are each charged with an aggravated count of dishonestly taking property without consent
He also changed his Instagram bio to include ‘Danger in the sheets, Sesame in the Streets.’
Meanwhile, Mr Binder shared a photo of the duo standing on the courthouse stairs, writing; ‘Little photo shoot ‘allegedly’.’
During the hearing, the prosecution supported changes to their bail conditions, including lifting a curfew and removing a ban on the friends from communicating with each other.
‘They’re friends. I don’t think it’s going to impede the case,’ the prosecutor said, the Herald Sun reports.
Magistrate Karim Soetratma permitted the changes, however, said a clause banning the pair from the circus could remain as it is no longer in the state.
After the costume was allegedly taken, the circus was forced to pull the lovable yellow personality from his regular appearance during show intervals, leaving thousands of fans devastated.
Mr Milne shared a photo of himself sitting in bed, with a big bird sleep mask wrapped around his head and a mug in his hand hours after leaving court
On April 21, police found the missing Muppet dumped by an electricity box in the southwestern end of the circus, with a handwritten note inside its mouth.
‘We are so sorry!!’ The note read.
‘We had no idea what we were doing or what our actions would cause.
‘We were just having a rough time and were trying to cheer ourselves up.
‘We had a great time with Mr Bird, he’s a great guy and no harm came to our friend.
‘So sorry to be such a big birden! Sincerely, the big bird bandits.’
The two men were arrested and charged two days later.
Mr Binder and Mr Milne are due to face court again in November.
Police found a handwritten apology note inside the yellow bird’s mouth (pictured)
Cops search for woman who allegedly stole a $160k Big Bird costume alongside ‘bandits’