Dozens of residents in the Castellane area of Marseille contacted the authorities to report sightings of the primate – thought to have been abandoned after being kept illegally.
La Provence newspaper reported the monkey entered a primary school where “it caused bedlam and scratched some of the children.”
English language newspaper The Local quoted a police spokesman as saying: “We were given the location but by the time we turned up, it had disappeared. It happened every time.”
The monkey - who later made an appearance at a senior school - is believed to have been living on Kinder chocolates given to him by children.
The website adds the monkey was not seriously injured and is in the care of animal protection authorities, who will deliver him to a zoo following a quarantine period.