art thieves

12 Stories

'Born Burglar' Details How He Pulled Off Van Gogh Heist

Octave Durham spills all the details on 2002 theft in new documentary

(Newser) - "I'm a born burglar," says Octave Durham, per the New York Times , which looks at a new documentary about Durham's notorious theft of two Vincent Van Gogh paintings. Set to be broadcast Tuesday on Dutch TV, the 45-minute special by filmmaker Vincent Verweij gets the inside... More »

Bad News: Looks Like Suspect's Mom Did Burn Art

Paint is found in ashes of oven; works were by Picasso, Monet, others

(Newser) - It may be a case of art to ashes—and scientists are trying to get to the bottom of the mystery. A Romanian museum official said yesterday that ash from the oven of a woman whose son is charged with stealing seven multimillion-dollar paintings—including a Matisse, a Picasso and... More »

FBI Busts 2 Selling $3M Stolen Matisse

Masterpiece had been missing for a decade

(Newser) - A decade after it was stolen, crooks thought they had found a buyer for a $3 million Henri Matisse masterpiece. But when they delivered the goods to a Miami Beach location, they were busted by undercover FBI agents, according to officials. Matisse's 1925 "Odalisque in Red Pants" was... More »

Thieves Hitting Museums to Steal ... Rhino Horns

Powder made from it sells for more than heroin

(Newser) - Ponder the things you'd expect a thief to steal from a museum. OK, was a rhinoceros horn on your list? Yeah, we didn't think so. The New York Times reports on a surprising new trend sweeping Europe, which has seen 30 such thefts from museums, galleries, auction houses,... More »

Gallery of Stolen Art Found in Picasso Suspect's Home

Cops say NJ man went on art theft spree last month

(Newser) - The New Jersey man arrested for stealing a Picass o from a San Francisco gallery last month was apparently trying to add to his personal collection of stolen art, police say. Authorities raided Mark Lugo's home in Hoboken and found 11 stolen artworks—including another Picasso drawing—worth a... More »

Picasso Thief Busted

NJ wine steward nabbed for theft of $200K sketch

(Newser) - A thief who strolled out of a San Francisco gallery with a stolen Picasso has been arrested and the 1965 pencil sketch has been recovered, police say. The suspect, a man who flew in from New Jersey the day before the theft, was found staying with friends in Northern California'... More »

Thief Nabs Picasso Drawing, Hails Taxi

And still gets away with it

(Newser) - Seems like something that deserves the " dumb criminals " label, except that he got away: A thief nabbed a $200,000 Pablo Picasso pencil drawing in a San Francisco gallery yesterday, then hailed a cab and vanished. The man, who was well-dressed and wearing dark glasses, apparently grabbed the... More »

Cops Hunt Tunneling Warhol Thieves

Crooks grab surveillance camera, too

(Newser) - Cops are hunting brazen art thieves who tunneled into a Manhattan apartment building and made off with works by Roy Lichenstein and Andy Warhol. The crooks broke into a wall of the five-story apartment in the trendy meatpacking district to grab $750,000 in art and jewelry. They also made... More »

Thieves Offer Scrap Dealer $1M Sculpture for $65

Stolen Chillida, Picasso works recovered

(Newser) - A Spanish gang of late contenders for the "Dumbest Criminal of 2010" award offered to sell a scrap merchant an iron sculpture worth close to $1 million ... for just $65, police say. The artwork, by Spanish sculptor Eduardo Chillida, has been recovered, along with works by Pablo Picasso and... More »

Egyptian Art Minister Busted in $50M Van Gogh Theft

Other officials detained, accused of negligence

(Newser) - The Egyptian government's head of fine arts has been arrested and accused of negligence in the theft of a $50 million Van Gogh painting . The work, known as Poppy Flowers or Vase With Flowers, was stolen from a Cairo museum during the day over the weekend. None of the alarms... More »

Why We Love Gutsy Art Heists

Thefts of masterpieces just classier than other crimes

(Newser) - Sure, it was a tragic loss when a thief made off with a priceless haul of Picasso, Matisse, and Braque paintings yesterday. But it was also a pretty great story, Paul Farhi writes in the Washington Post . Big art heists "aren't like ordinary crimes, which are dreary and depressing,... More »

Thieves Grab 30 Paintings in France

Picasso, Rousseau works vanish after Degas is stolen

(Newser) - Brazen thieves grabbed $1.5 million worth of paintings by Picasso, Rousseau and other artists from a home in southern France while the owner was vacationing in Sweden. Discovery of the theft in the medieval town of La Cadière d'Azur occurred less than a week after a $1.6... More »

12 Stories