Hotel refuses to take back stolen gorilla statue in front of TV cameras

Confrontation starts after hotel refuses to pick up statue

ORLANDO, Fla. - The 800-pound gorilla should be back at home after hotel workers finally arrived to pick it up from the man's apartment, but they appeared to change their minds late Wednesday evening.

When workers from The Metropolitan Express first arrived to Giovanni Alba's apartment around 5 p.m., they turned around after seeing news crews were there.  They told Giovanni that they would come back later.

It only led to a confrontation between hotel workers and Giovanni. He told them, "Seriously guys, get your statue out of my house."

The 800-pound gorilla has sat on Giovanni Alba's 2nd story patio for about 3 weeks.

Giovanni lives at Towns of Southgate Complex about 4 miles from the hotel. He and his friends had to use a dolly to get it up his stairs because it's practically impossible to pick up.

Giovanni told Local 6, "Within the first week, I was doing research on it and I was like 'well hey it's a gorilla, someone lost it, nothing came up. I'm like it's just a gorilla who cares.'"

When he searched again on Christmas, he found a Local 6 report when The Metropolitan Express reported the several thousand dollar statue had been stolen.

The mystery has since made headlines across the country.

"I never thought that over an 800-pound gorilla that I'd be going national." Giovanni said.

That's because it is a baffling mystery- who would steal an 800-pound bronze gorilla statue and how? The gorilla's original home was the pool area of the hotel located on International Drive. It got to Giovanni's front step after his friend found it in the neighborhood and left it at his door as a joke.

Giovanni said, "It took me 3 weeks, but hey there it is." Even though, he says he could have made more than $2000 from the metal.

Local 6's Sheli Muniz asked: "So, a round of drinks that they're offering."

"That offer, yeah, still stands, but I think a little bit more would help," responded Giovanni.

Giovanni said he just wanted it to get to the rightful owner, but wouldn't mind a $1,000 reward for it. Meanwhile, he says Orlando police officers arrived to his home early Wednesday morning and no charges will be filed.

Local 6 tried to call the hotel after they refused to originally pick it up, but got no response.

Giovanni says the two workers arrived hours later with a tow truck and retrieved the statue.

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