Man steals beloved giant gorilla statue with $10,000 reward offered

Police are hunting for a man who was recorded stealing a giant gorilla statue and are offering tens of thousands of dollars in reward money.

Surveillance footage shows a man in a hooded sweatshirt and mask driving a pickup truck park next to a store. The man lifts the big gorilla statue and rolls it onto the bed of his truck, then drives away.

It happened at Design Emporium Antiques on Howard Avenue in Kensington, Maryland, around 3.18am on January 4.

‘The suspect arrived at the store in an older model Chevrolet Colorado Z71, got out of the vehicle and approached the statute,’ stated the Montgomery County Department of Police last week. ‘The suspect then cut the cable that was locking the statue to the front of the store, loaded it into the truck and left the scene.’ 

The suspect is described as a white man of medium build, about 5-feet-10 tall and wearing light-colored shoes.

Authorities are offering up to $10,000 for information leading to an arrest.

Design Emporium Antiques owner Kristina Jamgochian believes that the theft was preplanned.

The suspect ‘must have known because he pulled right up and had the bolt cutters ready’ to cut the cable around the gorilla, she told WTOP News.

Jamgochian nickaned the gorilla Murphy and said it was an ‘icon’ and local celebrity.

‘People would drive up, jump out of cars and take selfies with him,’ she said.

Jamgochian’s friend Alan Shropshire said, ‘I don’t know anybody that wasn’t familiar with “the place with the monkey in front.”‘

Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Solvers of Montgomery County.

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