Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Picasso theft suspect denies charge

The 1965 pencil-on-paper Picasso drawing titled 'Tete de Femme' (AP)

The lawyer for a man accused of snatching a Picasso drawing off the wall of a San Francisco art gallery said his client will plead not guilty.

Mark Lugo appeared in court for the first time since his arrest last week on suspicion of stealing the 1965 sketch, which was on sale at the Weinstein Gallery for more than 200,000 US dollars (£126,000).

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that a judge agreed to a request from Lugo's lawyer, Douglas Horngrad, to postpone his arraignment until Friday. Mr Horngrad said he wants Lugo's five million US dollar (£3.1 million) bail reduced.

The 30-year-old sommelier from Hoboken, New Jersey, is charged with grand theft, possession of stolen property and second-degree burglary.

Police on Wednesday arrested Lugo in Napa, where they found the undamaged drawing stripped from its frame.

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