New Jersey - Police searching the Hoboken apartment of art thief Mark Lugo have uncovered more stolen artworks, wine and watches. ARTKABINETT AK Files reported on this art thief last week when he lifted a Picasso from a San Francisco gallery. Now we find that he was involved in a previous high-profile theft...
Lugo was arrested in San Francisco on 6 July and charged with stealing a $200,000 Picasso drawing from The Weinstein Gallery. According to Hoboken police, they were contacted by detectives from the New York Police Department’s Major Case Squad on Tuesday regarding the recent theft of a Leger painting from a hotel in Manhattan.
New Jersey police said in a statement that some of the stolen artwork found in the raid on Tuesday night was still hanging on Lugo's wall, and other pieces were "laying about the apartment. It is not known how many items were found but it is thought they they are valued at close to the million mark.
Hoboken Police executed a search warrant for Lugo’s Washington Street apartment at about 2:20 a.m. on July 12, according to sources. Detectives entered the residence upon obtaining the search warrant and were joined by members of the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office and the NYPD. Inside the apartment, which was unoccupied several high value items were uncovered.
Lugo is currently incarcerated in San Francisco. Police found the missing Leger painting taken from Manhattan's posh Carlyle Hotel, as well as other unidentified artworks, Reports said.The value of the painting is approximately $350,000. Leger, an early modernist painter is important in the Cubist movement and is considered a 20th century master.
On the night of the theft a worker told authorities that he saw a man behaving suspiciously earlier in the evening. The Leger painting that went missing from the lobby was on loan from the Helly Nahmad Gallery located inside the hotel's upmarket Madison Avenue building.
It was also reported that, Video surveillance shows a man walking into the Madison Avenue hotel, then coming out a short time later with a bag that he wasn't carrying earlier."
The NYC Major Case Squad was informed by San Francisco detectives that the stolen painting would be at Lugo’s Washington Street residence. Lugo is currently on bail for the theft of vintage wine from an up-market specialist in April.
The store's loss prevention officer did not report the theft until May, after Lugo returned to the store to steal more bottles. The shops loss prevention manager, Robert L. Lesnick says Lugo, dressed in a sports coat, entered the shop on two different occasions in April. He headed towards a wine rack where he pilfered three, 2006 bottles of Chateau Petrus Pomerol, a rare vintage valued at $2,000.
The grand total of Lugo's wine theft amounted to $6,000, according to Lesnick's report. Lugo was charged with third degree unlawfully taking moveable property, and ordered to appear back in court on June 9 court, but he failed to appear.
Lugo is now scheduled to be arraigned 15 July in San Francisco Superior Court in the heist of the Picasso drawing from the gallery. Horngrad said at Lugo's first court appearance Monday that his client planned to plead not guilty.