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  1. ITV Report

Snarling chimpanzee in a top hat stolen in stuffed animal raid

A snarling chimpanzee in a top hat has been stolen during a raid on a taxidermy warehouse.

Credit: Met Police

A stuffed giraffe, a zebra, a sloth, and a couple of lions are also missing after they were taken from a warehouse in Wimbledon last Tuesday.

Thieves made off with a total of 18 stuffed animals, thought to be worth £100,000.

Credit: Met Police

This was not a random crime, the burglars had came prepared and well equipped. This was a criminal enterprise and these thieves need to be stopped before they commit further crimes.

– Detective Constable Edward Bird, Met Police
Credit: Met Police

The items, all of which have featured in film and TV, were taken by thieves who used axle grinders to break in.

London Taxidermy supplies life-size props to the film and TV industry including the Harry Potter franchise, Paddington Bear, James Bond blockbuster Spectre, the Pirates of the Caribbean, Downton Abbey, Mr Selfridge, Made In Chelsea and Celebrity Juice.

One of the things they took was a King Penguin - the only one I have had in 25 years. These items are very difficult to replace.

I think they were after rhino horns - that is my theory. I have a couple of fibreglass ones on the website and they may have mistaken them for the real thing.

So they just began taking things at random - two lions, two giraffes, the King Penguin, the chimpanzee in a top hat as well.

There is a scarlet ibis, a sloth and four baboons also gone. Some of them were antiques - including a crocodile and a zebra.

– Alexis Turner, London Taxidermy

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101, quoting reference 304644/16.

You can also call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if you do not want to give your name.