Police in Maryland are going ape after a beloved giant gorilla statue was brazenly stolen from an antique shop, officials said.

Officers in Montgomery County are still searching for the large, cast iron statue, which was stolen from outside Design Emporium Antiques in Kensington in the early hours of Jan. 4, authorities said.

Surveillance footage of the incident shows a white male wearing a dark mask struggling to drag the 200-pound gorilla figure into the back of what authorities called an “older model Chevrolet Colorado Z71.”

Law enforcement said in a statement that there is a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest of the suspect.

“Apparently [the theft] was preplanned,” Design Emporium Antiques owner Kristina Jamgochian told WTOP News.

 “[The suspect] must have known because he pulled right up and had the bolt cutters ready [to cut the cable tying the gorilla down].”

A large gorilla statue inside an antique store with a mask over its nose and mouth.
“Murphy” the gorilla was a local icon.
Design Emporium and Antiques

Jamgochian said the gorilla, whom she nicknamed “Murphy,” was a local celebrity.

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

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

“[Murphy] was an icon.”

The gorilla statue tied down in the back of a dark pickup truck.
The theft is believed to have been preplanned.
Montgomery County Police Departm

A male suspect with a mask on loading the gorilla into the back of his truck at nighttime.
There is a $10,000 reward for the suspect’s apprehension.
Montgomery County Police Departm

Meanwhile, Jamgochian is still struggling to recover from the theft.

“It’s my business and I feel violated,” she told the outlet.

“This really upset me.”


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