The Houston Chronicle is reporting that Bob Wittman, a former federal agent who specializes in art crimes has joined forces with the local authorities to try to crack the case of a stolen Renoir. Madeleine Leaning On Her Elbow With Flowers In Her Hair was stolen from from a residence on September 8, 2011 when an armed intruder wearing a ski mask and gloves entered the home around 10 PM and when the owner went downstairs to investigate,
She told officers the man began demanding money and diamonds. Fearing he would go upstairs, where her young son was asleep, she pointed out the Renoir by the stairs as the most valuable thing she owned, Bedingfield said.
Lacking clues, the insurance company on the hook for the painting hired Bob Whitman from Philly and has upped the reward to $50,000. Since then, Wittman and his local man on the ground, John Bedingfield have, “chased down leads all over the city, even following through on a tip from someone who overheard a suspicious conversation at a car wash.”