Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 April 2014

Thief takes Picasso sketch and flees in cab

If Hollywood films are to be believed, art heists require meticulous planning, James Bond-style equipment and elaborate getaways.

But a thief in San Francisco this week made off with a valuable Picasso drawing by taking it off a gallery wall and escaping in a taxi.

The sketch, entitled Tete de Femme (Head of a Woman), was hanging near the entrance to the Weinstein Gallery, near Union Square, when it was stolen on Tuesday morning.

The work, part of a collection Picasso gave his chauffeur, Maurice Bresnu, is worth around $200,000 (£125,000) but police say it will be difficult for the thief to offload it.

"We're hoping someone in the public might recognise this piece, if they see someone walking around with it or trying to sell it," a police spokesman told the San Francisco Chronicle.

Rowland Weinstein, president of the gallery, said he was shocked by the theft and said the gallery would be reviewing its security.