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Displaying items by tag: heist

The two men suspected of masquerading as police officers to rob an art museum of $500 million worth of masterpieces in 1990 are dead, the FBI said.

Two years ago, investigators announced that they knew who stole 13 works — including paintings by Rembrandt and Vermeer — from Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, but they refused to elaborate, saying only that the investigation was focused on recovering the artwork.

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Never-before-seen video released Thursday shows a security guard admitting an unidentified man into the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum the night before the infamous 1990 art heist, adding a stunning new clue to Boston’s most enduring mystery.

The video footage, taken by the museum’s surveillance cameras and recently examined by investigators, shows the night watchman open the museum’s side door and grant unauthorized access to the man at about 12:49 a.m. on March 17, 1990 — 24 hours before the museum was robbed by two men dressed as police officers who arrived at the same door.

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It seems Robert “Bobby the Cook” Gentile can’t catch a break. The 79-year-old mobster, who has been touted as the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s best hope for finding out what happened to $500 million worth of stolen art, says the agency has twice entrapped him, sending informants to induce him to commit crimes so that they can offer leniency in exchange for information on the missing work.

The art theft, the largest in American history, went down in 1990 and involved a Rembrant, a Vermeer and more which were taken from Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

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A $5 million reward for masterworks stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum a quarter century ago has failed to lead to their recovery, prompting authorities Tuesday to announce a new offer: $100,000 for the return of one of the least valuable items, a bronze eagle finial.

The reward far exceeds the value of the 10-inch-high gilded eagle, which was swiped from the top of a pole supporting a silk Napoleonic flag. It was taken along with 12 other pieces valued at $500 million, including masterpieces by Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Manet, in what remains the world’s largest art heist and one of Boston’s most baffling crime mysteries.

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There's been an art heist at the Sam Simon Foundation in Malibu, California, and police are hunting for two paintings—one by American Pop artist Roy Lichtenstein—worth an estimated $200,000 each, reports the AP. The foundation, which rescues shelter dogs and trains them to become service dogs for the disabled, was founded by The Simpsons co-creator Sam Simon, who died last month at 59, after a long battle with colon cancer.

The paintings were reported missing on April 10, and are thought to have been taken at some point during the previous day.

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Thieves have breached stringent security at Christie's London flagship headquarters to pull off a heist valued at up to a million pounds. The stolen items, thought to be mostly jewelery and small antiques, included works by the Russian jewelers Fabergé.

Police have been investigating the theft for two weeks and even though they have CCTV footage, have failed to identify any of the suspects, who may be of an Eastern European background.

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An unknown thief or group of thieves stole Pablo Picasso's "Visage aux Mains (Face with Hands)" (1956) from the Amsterdam-based Leslie Smith Gallery's booth at Art Miami, the "Miami Herald" reports. The work is a 16.5 inch in diameter silver plate and is believed to have been snatched sometime after 10:30pm on Thursday night. Police have classified the heist as grand theft.

Gallery owner David Smith discovered that the plate was missing from its holder upon arriving to Art Miami on Friday morning around 10:45am.

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An anonymous caller has cracked open an organized crime syndicate that stole up to 302 works of art from Turkey's State Art and Sculpture Museum, located in the capital, Ankara. According to a report in the "Hurriyet" Turkish newspaper, three individuals from the group have been arrested thus far. Fifteen remain on the run.

The arrests came courtesy of an anonymous phone call to the Turkish culture minister Ertuğrul Günay. The witness, said to be an antiques dealer himself and referred to by the pseudonym "Daylight," has revealed extensive details about the operation.

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Wednesday, 27 November 2013 13:33

Ringleader of Dutch Art Heist Jailed

Radu Dogaru, the ringleader of a gang that stole $24 million worth of art from Rotterdam’s Kunsthal Museum, has been sentenced to six years and eight months in prison by a Romanian court. Fellow gang member, Eugen Darie, received an identical sentence. The trial will continue on December 3 of four other defendants, including Dogaru’s mother, who is accused of destroying three of the stolen masterpieces.

Dogaru and Darie pleaded guilty to stealing seven paintings from the Kunsthal Museum including works by Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet, Henri Matisse, Paul Gauguin, Meyer de Haan, and Lucian Freud. The works were on loan from the Triton Foundation to celebrate the Kunsthal Museum’s 20th anniversary. None of the paintings have been recovered.  

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Wednesday, 23 October 2013 18:10

Art Thief Threatens to Sue Kunsthal Museum

Radu Dogaru, the Romanian man who admitted to stealing $24 million worth of art from the Kunsthal Museum in Rotterdam, threatened to sue the institution for making the robbery too easy. Dogaru is one of six Romanians on trial for last year’s heist, which shook the art world.

On Tuesday, October 22, Dogaru told the court, “I could not imagine that a museum would exhibit such valuable works with so little security.“ Dogaru’s lawyer, Catalin Dancu, claims that the Kunsthal could be found guilty of negligence since their security system failed, allowing the thieves to make off with the artworks.

Last October, Dogaru and his accomplices made off with Pablo Picasso’s Tete d’Arlequin, Claude Monet’s Waterloo Bridge, London and Charing Cross Bridge, London, Henri Matisse’s La Liseuse en Blanc et Jaune, Paul Gauguin’s Femme devant une fenetre ouverte, dite la Fiancee, Meyer de Haan’s Autoportrait, and Lucian Freud’s Woman with Eyes Closed. Following the heist, rumors began to circulate that Dogaru’s mother, Olga, had incinerated the stolen paintings in her stove in an attempt to protect her son. Olga Dogaru later retracted her statement although fragments of oil paintings were found in the ashes in her stove. On Tuesday, Dogaru told the court that, “the paintings were certainly not destroyed. I don’t know where they are but I believe they have been sold.” A separate investigation into the possible destruction of the artwork is underway.

Doguru’s next hearing is due on November 19. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

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