Man allegedly pepper sprays woman, steals her monkey

If there's one type of person we should be able to rely on in this crazy world of ours, it's a guy we met online who wants to buy a monkey.

Okay, maybe not, as a Missouri woman learned the hard way.

Police say the woman was pepper sprayed and forcibly relieved of a primate said to be worth thousands of dollars, and illegal in Colorado.

To answer your next question: Yes, this is a true story.

The report comes to us from the Grand Junction Police Department, which was contacted by a thus-far-unnamed woman from Missouri about an incident that took place about 6 a.m. yesterday morning.

The location was the parking lot of a La Quinta Inn, just down the road from Grand Junction Regional Airport, still known to many of us natives as Walker Field.

The woman had come to Grand Junction to sell her monkey, a black cap Capuchin, for $7,500 to a man she'd met online, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel notes.

When the pair rendezvoused, however, the man's hand wasn't filled with cash. Instead, it held pepper spray, which he spritzed into the woman's face before grabbing the pet carrier containing the monkey and running away on foot.

Whether he then got into a vehicle and drove away is unknown. The woman was understandably having a little problem seeing straight at the time.

The description of the monkey thief? He's said to be a 35-40 year old male of Middle Eastern extraction, about five-five in height, with a thin build and a short beard. On the morning in question, he was wearing glasses, a blue shirt and possibly a vest.

Oh yeah: The cops point out that it's illegal to possess a black cap Capuchin monkey in Colorado -- although a representative of Colorado Parks and Wildlife tells the Sentinel there are no plans to prosecute the woman for bringing such a creature here. "Our officers do use discretion," he emphasizes.

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to phone 970-242-6707 or Crime Stoppers at 970-241-STOP. Here's a larger look at the missing monkey.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

More from our News archive circa September 2012: "Birdnapped! Can you help find Alex, stolen parrot with serious medical condition?"

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts

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