$20,000 reward offered for racing pigeons stolen from South Carolina home

Around the South

GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) — An Upstate man is searching for his prized possessions after they were stolen from him. Dozens of pigeons worth thousands of dollars were stolen last week from a home in Greenville County.

There’s a handful of birds left in John Georgopoulos’ collection of homing pigeons.

“She won almost $6,000 dollars,” he said of one bird.

And these aren’t even his most valuable birds.

“She won $18,000 dollars,” he said, showing another. “Yes, in one of the biggest races in America.”

More than a hundred of his top racing pigeons were stolen from their coop just last week.

“I had pigeons worth $1,000 and $5,000, $10,000 and $20,000. Each,” Georgopoulos said.

It’s here his backyard that he breeds and trains the birds to eventually compete in races across the country and even internationally.

“They release them and the pigeons come home, the fastest ones win the prizes,” Georgopoulos said.

He has no idea who would steal the birds.

“This was my pride and joy, you know. Other than you come home and it was the hobby it also was successful,” he said.

But, he thinks he knows why.

“I believe the birds were stolen because the people wanted an easy [way] to the top,” Georgopoulos said.

Georgopoulous has become fairly well known in the racing community and thinks someone is trying to prevent him from winning with his top birds.

“The pigeons that were stolen, some of them brought over $100,000,” Georgopoulos said.

Now, the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the theft.

“They came and cut the cameras from the side view so whatever we got is nothing, there’s not any kind of footage,” Georgopoulos said.

Georgopoulos doesn’t think the birds were released, otherwise they may return home.

“They’re hidden in somebody’s garage, somebody’s house, somebody’s pigeon loft,” he said.

At this point, he doesn’t care who took his birds, he just wants them back.

“If I can get the birds back you know alive I don’t care to prosecute or nothing,” he said.

Georgopoulos is offering a reward for the safe return of all the pigeons. That reward stands at $20,000.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office.

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