London

Gorilla statue stolen from London Sanctum Soho Hotel

The stolen gorilla statue Image copyright Sanctum
Image caption The gorilla statue - known as Ace - was previously outside the Embassy Club, in Mayfair

A huge gorilla statue has been stolen from the roof of a five-star London hotel.

Two thieves clad in hi-vis vests scaled the Karma Sanctum Hotel in Soho and unbolted the fibreglass primate - known as Ace - before carrying it out of a building site next door.

The 160kg statue stands at 6ft (1.8m) tall and is said to be worth more than £20,000.

Sanctum's owner, Mark Fuller, described the theft as "brazen".

'Going in my garden'

Mr Fuller said a florist working on a Christmas installation at the hotel told him they saw two men in hard hats removing the statue.

When asked where they were taking it, one of the men replied: "It's going in my garden love."

The pair also duped builders working next door to the hotel into helping them carry the gorilla down to the street through their work site, Mr Fuller said.

He added: "It's a dear thing, a real memento to us, and we really, really want it back."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Two men are said to have climbed the roof of the Sanctum Soho Hotel and stolen the gorilla statue

A #FindAce hashtag campaign has been launched in an appeal for information on the statue's whereabouts.

Mr Fuller has offered a reward of a week's stay at the Karma Hotel in Bali for Ace's safe return.

The Met Police confirmed it was investigating the theft, which is said to have happened at about 09:00 GMT on 5 November in Warwick Street.

Before finding its home atop the Sanctum hotel, Ace sat outside the Embassy Club in Mayfair.

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