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Thief Steals Two Damien Hirst Works of Art in 3am Raid

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Thief Steals Two Damien Hirst Works of Art in 3am Raid 

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  #1  
Old 12-13-2013, 01:45 PM
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The thief worked with ‘ninja-like’ speed and precision...and an audacity that suggests he perhaps did not know he was on camera.

These pictures show how a masked raider prised the door of an art gallery open with a crowbar, snatched two Damien Hirst paintings and was gone again in under a minute.

The pieces, worth £33,000, had only just gone up in the shop in Notting Hill, West London.

The heist in the early hours of Monday morning has left police mystified as the thief picked the pieces over more valuable works by the award-winning artist.

He took two similar paintings, Pyronin Y, which was completed in 2005 and is worth £15,000, and Oleoylsarcosine, from 2008 and worth £18,000. Hirst’s series of spot paintings, categorised by colourful dots in different patterns, are among his most widely recognised works.

Last night, investigators were studying CCTV footage captured over the past week to see if the thief made an earlier reconnaissance trip to the gallery.
One line of inquiry is he was working for a criminal who wanted to add the distinctive pieces to his collection.
Gallery manager Nathan Engelbrecht, 31, said: ‘The police think it might have been stolen to order.
‘It is also possible they targeted the Hirst spot pieces because he knew they would be easier to sell. There are more expensive items here. There is also another Hirst painting – not a spot one – but he left that behind even though it was right next to one of them.’
The Exhibition Gallery, which opened in September, has a burglar alarm but it didn’t go off.
The gallery manager said the paintings had only gone up a few days ago after weeks of negotiation with Hirst’s team.
‘We are a small gallery and we had to convince them we could sell them and keep them safe,’ said Mr Engelbrecht.
‘Looks like we failed at both.’ The CCTV shows that at the same time as the raid, delivery men were outside a restaurant across the road.
Mr Engelbrecht said from the footage it is clear the thief knew what he was looking for. ‘He was in and out within a minute,’ he said.

‘If you watch it on CCTV he knows exactly what he’s doing. He was completely covered up – balaclava, hood, goggles, gloves. It was clearly a professional job. It was all done with ninja-like speed and precision.
‘It is quite unbelievable how brazen he was because this is a busy street, even in the middle of night.’
The glass-fronted shop is two doors down from Notting Hill Book Shop – the inspiration for Richard Curtis’s hit film Notting Hill.
Det Sgt Jon Lightfoot of the Met said: ‘It appears the suspect has specifically targeted the two pieces. They would have been visible in the back of the car and we are appealing for witnesses to come forward.’
A spokesman for Hirst said: ‘This is a police matter and I’m afraid we cannot comment.’
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Old 12-13-2013, 03:24 PM
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‘We are a small gallery and we had to convince them we could sell them and keep them safe,’ said Mr Engelbrecht.
‘Looks like we failed at both.’
good thing you invested in a state of the art cctv cam from the 70's
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Old 12-14-2013, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by kellyhound View Post
good thing you invested in a state of the art cctv cam from the 70's
That's what i've never understood. Decent cams are so CHEAP that i dont know what explains this VHS cams anymore.
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