Art Thief’s Treasure Trove Discovered in New Jersey

07/15/2011 2:08 PM |

A toast, to art thieves!
  • A toast, to art thieves! (Photo via)

Forget the Met or MOMA, Hoboken, New Jersey is the place to go for rare art masterpieces! At least it was when NYPD raided art thief Mark Lugo’s (pictured) apartment on Wednesday and found 11 stolen works of art.

The police team was treated to an exhibition of 6 of the valuable works hanging on Lugo’s wall, including a Picasso drawing stolen from Soho’s William Bennett Gallery last month. Other works recovered include Fernand Léger’s 1917 ink-on-linen “Composition aux element mecaniques,” worth and estimated $350,000 and snatched from the Carlyle Hotel lobby a few weeks ago.

It seems Lugo, an out-of-work sommelier, is vying to take over the title of “Picasso Man” previously held by San Francisco’s most notorious art thief Terry Helbling. Lugo was caught last week walking out of a San Francisco gallery with the 1965 Picasso drawing “Tete de Femme (Head of a Woman)” (below) under his arm. Lugo is due to be arraigned in San Francisco today.

Fernand Legers Composition aux element mecaniques (1917, at left) was recovered in Lugos apartment after being stolen several weeks ago; Lugo stole Picassos Tete de femme (1965, right) from a San Francisco gallery last week only to be apprehended the following day.
  • Fernand Leger’s “Composition aux element mecaniques” (1917, at left) was recovered in Lugo’s apartment after being stolen several weeks ago; Lugo stole Picasso’s “Tete de femme” (1965, right) from a San Francisco gallery last week only to be apprehended the following day.