A man has been charged for allegedly swiping a beloved gorilla statue from a retirement village in north-east Melbourne.

The 1.5-metre tall statue named Garry was found tucked away in the backyard of a home in Reservoir on Monday, weeks after it disappeared from where it stood in St Helena on June 6. 

Police today said news of the alleged theft led to a 33-year-old man from Heidelberg Heights approaching police.

A gorilla statue which stood vigil at a Melbourne retirement community was stolen last month. (Victoria Police)

“He was interviewed by appointment this morning and subsequently charged with theft, handle stolen goods and drive whilst disqualified,” police said.

The man has been bailed and will face court on August 30.

Police alleged they also found 24 driver’s licences, believed to be stolen, and a quantity of prescription medication when they visited the home in Reservoir in the hunt for Garry.

An Air Wing search revealed Garry in a nondescript backyard. (Victoria Police)

Investigations into these items remain ongoing and anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Garry the gorilla will be returned to its rightful home in St Helena.

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