Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Art Theft Doesn't Pay

Stephen Foss
"I Forget You Every Day"
enamel on canvas
image courtesy Sense Fine Art

An art gallery's van containing paintings by the artist Stephen Foss was stolen in San Francisco on November 23rd. Steve Rubenstein reports in the San Francisco Chronicle today that the alleged thieves tried to sell the stolen paintings to the Sense Gallery in Menlo Park. The bungling bandits did not realize that the Sense Gallery owned the van from which the paintings were stolen.

The suspects arranged to meet the gallery owner who then contacted the police. A dozen sheriff's deputies laid in wait, and stormed the gallery when the suspects brought in the stolen Stephen Foss paintings.

Two of the suspects were arrested in the gallery. A third took off running and was caught after being bitten by a deputy's police dog.

Sheriff's Sgt. Jerry Quinlan said that he didn't think that the crew was trying to extort the Sense Gallery to pay for its own stolen artworks- "It was just bad luck on their part.''

But not a bad publicity moment for Stephen Foss or his galleries. Will aborted art theft now become a career move for artists?

Stephen Foss is also represented by the Julie Nester Gallery in Park City, Utah. My next solo show opens on January 6th, 2006 at the Julie Nester Gallery. My paintings are traveling in secret and, in case there are any would be art thieves out there, are protected by snarling art dogs.

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