Picasso Art Thief Caught on Video, Arrested

Picasso’s “Tete
picasso tete de femme
Picasso's "Tete de Femme"

The famous sketch from artist Pablo Picasso, “Tete de Femme” was stolen from the Weinstein Gallery in San Francisco in broad daylight Tuesday.

According to a report from ABC News, witnesses at the Union Square art gallery saw the suspect walk in through the entrance, take the art off the wall and quickly leave in a waiting cab.

Witnesses are not the only evidence of the crime, as two surveillance videos show what could be the suspect leaving the museum with art in hand. One video comes from a restaurant nearby, Lefty O’Douls, which showed the suspect walking down the street and covering the art with a newspaper. Surveillance video footage from the cab the suspect used to escape the scene was also obtained. The videos were studied by the San Francisco police which led to the arrest of the alleged thief on Thursday.

Police did not release the name of the suspect or mention if the artwork has been located, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Authorities didn’t think selling this art piece would be easy for the thief. “It will be challenging for anyone to sell it. It won’t be something you see turned in to a pawn shop. We’re hoping someone in the public can spot the piece,” said information officer for the San Francisco Police Department, Albie Esparza.

The pencil drawing was created in 1965 and translates to “head of a woman” in English. The gallery was selling the sketch for its estimated worth of $200,000.

Gallery president Rowland Weinstein told ABC’s KGO-TV that he was saddened by the theft of the piece.

“I feel sorry because it really, truly is my goal, and always has been my goal, to be able to bring exactly what you see in this galley, original works by Picasso, Moreau [and] Chagall, onto the street level. I want it to be available to the public.”

This is not the first time a Picasso piece was stolen. One of the famous artist’s paintings “Le Pigeon aux Petits Pois,” was among the five pieces taken at a Paris Museum in 2010.