By Pauleen Le

UPDATE (April 8): Investigators say that the pet monkey was stolen in North St. Paul. Anyone with information on the missing monkey is asked to call North St. Paul police at 651-767-0640. Tips can also be submitted online.

MAPLEWOOD, Minn. (WCCO) — A local pet owner is asking for help to find her missing capuchin monkey.

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The nearly 2-year-old monkey’s name is Coco Chanel, and her owner, Zaurice Steward, says she disappeared Tuesday night, possibly from the parking lot at the Cub Foods in Maplewood.

Steward is offering a $3,000 cash reward for Coco’s safe return.

“I just want her back home,” Steward said. “I just feel like I lost my child.”

At about 8:45 p.m. Tuesday, Steward said she got a Facebook message from a family member telling her Coco disappeared.

“She literally wrote and said, ‘OMG Coco is missing,'” Steward explained.

The family member told Steward she had stopped by the Cub Foods off White Bear Avenue in Maplewood. Coco and her pink carrier were still in the back seat of her car. When she came out, both were nowhere to be seen.

Steward tried searching and she also filed a police report.

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(credit: CBS)

“Very strange,” said Lt. Joe Steiner of the Maplewood Police Department. “Theft from auto isn’t strange, but theft of a capuchin monkey from a motor vehicle is strange.”

Steiner said it’s also an unusual case because having capuchin monkeys as pets is illegal in Minnesota. Steward says Coco normally stays with other family across the border in Wisconsin, where they are legal.

“I’m scared that the wrong person has Coco,” Steward said. “I just want to make sure she’s OK.”

For now, Maplewood police are searching for surveillance video and witnesses. Steward is hopeful for some good news soon.

“I just want to find her and get her back safe,” Steward said. “I don’t care what I have to pay. I don’t care what I have to do. I just want her back safe.”

Maplewood police is asking anyone with information to give them a call at 651-777-8191

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Steward is currently taking donations to grow the reward money. If you’d like to help, you can donate to her on the Cash App at $melaninbeautybyz.

Pauleen Le