Police search for man who pepper-sprayed woman and stole her monkey in Grand Junction

Woman was trying to sell pet monkey to man

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Grand Junction police are investigating a bizarre strong-arm robbery where a man pepper-sprayed a woman and stole her monkey when a parking lot pet sale turned bad.

The Missouri woman met the man in the parking lot of a La Quinta Inn on Crossroads Boulevard at about 6 a.m. Monday to complete a previously arranged deal to sell him a black cap Capuchin monkey, police said.

Instead, the man sprayed the woman in the face with pepper spray, grabbed the pet carrier containing the monkey and ran off, police said.

The woman was injured during the attack, but police said she wasn't seriously hurt.

The woman described her attacker as a Middle Eastern man who is 35 to 40 years old, stands about 5-feet-5-inches tall and has a thin build. The man has a short beard, wears glasses, a blue shirt and possibly a vest.

Police said it's illegal to possess a Capuchin monkey in Colorado. Anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area Monday morning or has other information about this crime is asked to call the Grand Junction Police Department at 970-242-6707 or Crime Stoppers at 970-241-STOP.

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