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Police arrest man in California art theft

 Posted on July 10, 2011 in Dealing with the Police

Police arrested a man Wednesday in connection with allegations the man walked away from a San Francisco art gallery with a Picasso sketch, valued at roughly $275,000. The San Francisco District Attorney's Office reportedly has charged the man with several counts alleging California theft crime. The man faces charges of grand theft, receiving stolen property and second degree burglary.

Police claim the man walked into the Weinstein Gallery in San Francisco Tuesday. At around 11:40 a.m., police say the man wrestled a Picasso sketch from the wall and walked out of the gallery with the original artwork wrapped in paper.

The man reportedly hailed a Black and White Checker Cab and rode off, en route to the Palomar Hotel. Tuesday night San Francisco police seized a taxicab they believe the art theft suspect hailed after allegedly stealing the Picasso drawing, known as "Tête de femme." Police say the cab had a security video system. Law enforcement also interviewed the driver of the cab Tuesday night.

On Wednesday, a restaurant located a few doors down the street from the art gallery released a video captured on a surveillance camera at the eatery that the management from the restaurant claims depicts a potential suspect in the art gallery theft.

Law enforcement arrested a man Wednesday night at a residence in Napa related to the alleged art gallery heist. Law enforcement says the also seized a drawing they believe is the original Picasso sketch taken from the Weinstein gallery Tuesday morning. The seized sketch reportedly does not show any signs of damage and is without its frame.

The accused reportedly is from the East Coast and was visiting friends in Napa. Bail reportedly has been set at $5 million in the matter.

Source: San Francisco Examiner, "Picasso theft suspect formally charged by San Francisco district attorney," Mike Billings 8 Jul 2011

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