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When a Good Bali Monkey Goes Bad

Police Arrest a Thief for Training a Monkey to become a Pickpocket.

(5/31/2008) While in the past Balidiscovery.com has covered the shenanigans of light-fingered primates resident at Bali's sacred Pura Uluwatu, a recent report in Nusa Bali may indicate that Bali's mischievous monkeys are acquiring wider criminal expertise as they collaborate with known criminals elements in Bali.

According to the press report, a 26 year-old petty criminal, Agus Wirawan Hendrayana, known to police for thefts he has committed in the Kuta-Seminyak area of Bali, was arrested on May 24 when police found a missing digital camera hidden under the seat of his motorbike. Shortly before the arrest, a Norwegian tourist reported that he had lost the same camera while visiting the Bali bombing memorial at "ground zero" in central Kuta.

Police theorize that a panhandling monkey trained by Agus was performing near the monument when the primate somehow managed to take the camera from the unsuspecting Norwegian's bag and hide it beneath an ornamental flower pot.

Police report that Agus is holding fast to the criminal code of honor, refusing to "rat" on the monkey; telling police he never trained the monkey to pursue a life of crime.

Police are also having little success in trying to determine how the monkey made the tragic transition from petty pilfering from tourists at local temples to and organized racket on Kuta's busy street. According to police sources, this monkey's not talking.

Related Articles

[Avoiding Monkey Business in Bali]

[Bali Monkey Business Part II]

[Bali Monkey Business Part III]