Deputies discover two stolen monkeys during disturbance call

Saturday, September 20, 2008 | 8:15 p.m. CDT

AGENCY, Mo. — Buchanan County Sheriff's deputies answering a domestic disturbance call this week instead discovered a pair of monkeys reported stolen almost a year ago from a Kansas City man..

Sgt. Mark Brock said the pigtailed macaques, named Abby and Nicholas, were found late Thursday while deputies investigated the call at a residence in rural Agency. After spotting the monkeys, the deputies got a search warrant and came back to take a closer look at them.

The sheriff's department said it received a tip that the monkeys could be found at a family residence.

"They had cages and whatnot, like any other family pet," said Brock, who has experience with exotic pets cases in the past, including monkeys.

Catherine M. Montes has been charged and is scheduled to appear next month in court.

The animals were reunited with their owner, Dana Savorelli, who identified them through microchips implanted under their skin. He said the two appeared in good health although Abby was suffering from a cold with a raspy cough and is taking antibiotics.

"We're wore out," he said. "It was kind of a fluke" the monkeys were found during the deputies' initial disturbance call. "We had them go up and search that place before."

Savorelli, who owns the Monkey Island Rescue and Zoological Sanctuary in Kansas City, said three monkeys were stolen in October, when video surveillance showed a woman appearing to drug the animals and then take them.

He said the third monkey, Melissa, hasn't been found and Thursday's arrest didn't find any clues to her whereabouts. No charges have been filed in Jackson County.

Lunchtime diners at Woody's Grocery Store in Agency Friday were bemused by news of the monkey discovery nearby.

"Why would you want to steal a monkey?" unless it was valuable, said Terry Batchelder, a loader operator at Everett Quarry.


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