A six-foot tall fibreglass gorilla has been stolen from a hotel roof in central London.
Two men in high-visibility vests climbed onto the roof of the Sanctum Soho Hotel and unbolted the 160kg statue, known as Ace, before carrying it out of a building site next door at around 9am on November 5, according to witnesses.
Mark Fuller, owner of the five-star hotel near Piccadilly Circus, said: “It’s absolutely as brazen as you like.
“It’s a dear thing, a real memento to us, and we really, really want it back.”
The statue is reportedly worth more than £20,000 and was installed by crane five years ago, having previously sat outside the Embassy Club in Mayfair.
Mr Fuller, who owns both hotels, realised the gorilla was gone from the rooftop bar when checking the Christmas lights being installed on top of the hotel.
A florist working on the Christmas installation told Mr Fuller they saw two men in hard hats and hi-vis jackets removing the statue.
When asked where they were taking it, one of the men allegedly replied: “It’s going in my garden love.”
Builders working next to the hotel said they helped the two men carry the gorilla down to the street through their work site, believing them to be official, Mr Fuller added.
The owner has offered a reward of a week’s stay at the Karma Hotel in Bali, another of his hotels, for Ace’s safe return.
“It’s irreplaceable it’s a piece of history from the Embassy club and my personal history,” Mr Fuller said.
The gorilla’s arm was decorated by renowned tattoo artist Dan Gold. Mr Fuller also shares a tattoo with the statue.
“I suppose he’s a bit of a mate now is Ace and we’re missing him,” the hotel owner said.
“We don’t hold grudges and would just appreciate his safe return.”
The hotel has received offers to buy the statue in the past, he added, so he believes the culprit could be a customer who had the statue stolen to order.
The Metropolitan Police said an allegation of theft from the Warwick Street hotel was reported to them on Saturday November 10 and enquiries continue.
Sanctum Soho Hotel has urged anyone who has seen the gorilla to contact reception on 020 7292 6100.
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