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Last Updated: Wednesday August 23 2006 17:30 GMT

Man charged with stealing monkey

SpongBob the squirrel monkey
A man has been charged in connection with the theft of a squirrel monkey called SpongeBob.

Marlon Brown, 22, will have to appear at Kingston Magistrates' Court on 14 September.

Bob was taken from Chessington World of Adventures on 18 July but was found a couple of days later playing with some children in south London.

The endangered Bolivian squirrel monkey, named after the cartoon character, was missing for four days.

A monkey
After Bob was found he was looked after at Brixton police station until he was collected by zoo staff.

Police said thefts of monkeys were becoming more common. Detective Constable David Burton said: "It appears there is a market for them."

According to figures from the National Register of Stolen Animals, "around 50" small monkeys had been taken from zoos around Britain since March.

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