Monday, March 18, 2013

Real Life Art Heist

In case you thought my art thief Ghost was a little far-fetched in DETECT ME...

$500 million worth of art pieces were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum in Boston during the spring of 1990. The spoils included pieces by no less than Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Manet.

The theft itself was ingenious in its simplicity. In the wee hours of the day after Saint Patrick's, two thieves dressed up as cops and snuck into the building. Who watches the watchmen, huh? It's likely that a museum guard was complicit in the theft, but that has never been proven.

A $5 million reward was offered for information leading to the recovery of the stolen works, but ironically this only complicated matters further when people looking to make an easy buck delivered truckloads of misleading or just plain fabricated information. The FBI investigated, but ran into dead end after dead end.

And THIEVES are the thief of everything else.
Now the FBI has made a statement claiming that they've identified the thieves. To me, the best part of this whole thing is that the thieves are apparently "members of a criminal organization with a base in the mid-Atlantic states and New England". This is both fascinating and hilarious. Ah yes, all those sinister crime rings in New England, smuggling lobsters and tennis rackets.

Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that any arrests have been made and the FBI still have no idea what happened to the stolen art. It remains a mystery... for now.

What do you guys think happened? Where do you think the art is now?


  1. Likely it was all in Europe within hours of the heist. Big-time art theft is quite organized. Fun post.

    1. See that's what I thought, but for some reason the FBI is saying they think it's still in New England. Either they know something I don't or they're veeeeeery optimistic.

  2. Damn you for making me want to reread DM so soon after my first read! I love the art theft scenario in Elementary (the American Sherlock Holmes show) where the thief had the painting framed directly behind a (probably still expensive, but obviously not in comparison to the real one) reproduction, so when you cut the reproduction you could see the original behind it.