In a brazen robbery in Santa Monica, California, the Santa Monica Lookout has reported that thieves have made off with enough work by big name artists to start a small museum of modern art. Sometime between September 12 and 14th thieves broke into a Santa Monica residence and made off with over $10 million in artwork. To add insult to injury, the thieves also took the owner’s red 2010 Porsche Carrera 4S, several watches, and an undisclosed amount of wine. The heist of thirteen works includes some of the most prominent names of 20th Century art. Among the works taken were a Twombly, a Diebenkorn, a Mondrian, two Cornells, a Guston, a Stella, a Kline, and a Stella. The police report states that it originally estimated the loss as between 20 and 39 million dollars, however they now believe it to be in excess of $10 million. Based on the images provided and the quality of the names, I would agree that the total take is closer to the former estimate.
I imagine that there were multiple thieves as all of the works certainly would not neatly fit into the Porsche to be used as the getaway car. Due to the high visibility of the works they will be almost impossible to sell on the open market. While certain paintings in the past have been “stolen to order”, this theft is extreme as it appears that an entire lifestyle could have been stolen to order.
Police are offering a $1000 reward for any information leading to an arrest.
UPDATE: The LA Times is reporting that the victim of the heist is financier Jeffrey Gundlach who is the CEO of DoubleLine Capital. AND Business Insider is reporting that Gundlach has upped the ante as the reward for any information leading to an arrest is now $200,000!
Photos courtesy of the Santa Monica Police Department