Macomb Co. couple accused of filing false police report, faking papers to keep parrot

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

A Macomb Township couple who told police about an exotic bird theft and assault could end up in cages themselves after authorities say they made up the story. 

Lauryn Siler, 30, and Christopher Urbanczyk, 37, are accused of filing a false police report and faking documents to keep a parrot, the Macomb County Sheriff's Office said.

The two are accused of keeping a bird belonging to a St. Clair County man, telling sheriff's deputies the parrot was theirs and someone broke into their home last month to steal it.

Officials said deputies were called at about 4 p.m. Aug. 16 to a home in the 17000 block of Birch Drive near Romeo Plank and M-59 for a report of a home invasion. The home's owner, Siler, told them an exotic bird worth about $2,500 was stolen and she had been assaulted. Her fiancé, Urbanczyk, arrived after police.

Siler told police a male acquaintance came to her home and forced his way inside. She said the 63-year-old man took her female Eclectus parrot along with an egg and fled.

She also said she followed the man, who put the animal in his vehicle, according to authorities. Siler tried to take back the bird, she said, but was pushed to the ground. The man then left.

Investigators said Siler showed them a receipt for the bird that showed she purchased it from a business in Royal Oak.

They said as they spoke to Siler, Urbanczyk continued to interrupt and told deputies "they had '24 hours' to handle the matter or he would handle it himself."

The story was posted to social media and circulated, officials said.

Later the same day, police had contacted the male acquaintance Siler accused of taking her bird and assaulting her. The man went to the Macomb County Sheriff's Office to surrender himself, police said.

He told investigators the bird belonged to him and that he didn't steal it. He said he lent Siler the bird so it could breed with her male parrot.

Deputies took the man into custody because he could not provide proof of ownership, officials said. He was held at the county jail, but later released.

Investigators executed a search warrant at the man's home in Casco Township on Aug. 26. Deputies found and seized the parrot, which was turned over to Macomb County Animal Control for safekeeping, they said.

After deputies cleared the home, one of the man's relatives provided them with documents from an exam of the parrot that showed the man is the owner. They also had the bird's medical history from its birth to the time it was purchased by the man.

Detectives then checked out Siler's paperwork, officials said. They believe it was fake and had been created by Urbanczyk. 

They also spoke to the owner of the Royal Oak business where Siler said she purchased the parrot. The business owner told investigators he gave Siler and an unknown man a receipt book. He said Siler filled out the receipt for the bird's sale.

He told detectives his business had never sold an Eclectus parrot to either Siler or Urbanczyk and that he was “just trying to help a friend out,” according to authorities.

Police followed up on the business owner's statements with Siler and Urbanczyk at her home. Siler allegedly told detectives she was the parrot's owner and then asked them to leave her home.

Officials said investigators found the Casco Township man is the exotic bird's rightful owner and had legitimate documents to prove it. They said the bird was returned to him.

Siler and Urbancyzk are each expected to be charged with a count of uttering and publishing, two counts of filing a false report of a felony and lying to a peace officer, a misdemeanor. Uttering and publishing is a 14-year felony and filing a false report of a felony is a four-year felony.

cramirez@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @CharlesERamirez