New Jersey Resident Arrested for Nationwide Art Theft

A New Jersey resident owned an apartment in the state, but he traveled across the country to obtain art to hang on the walls. His tastes were the level of gallery art that is hung on the walls of some of the country’s more expensive hotels. The only problem was that a number of the pieces were actually from hotel walls.

The 31-year-old man was recently charged in New York with several theft charges, including grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property all relating to the art found in his apartment.

The search of the New Jersey apartment was executed after the man was arrested in California this past July under suspicion of involvement in a hotel art theft. There were a total of 19 art pieces, the origins of which were investigated. By October, the man pled guilty to felony grand theft. He spent approximately 138 days total in California and was then extradited to New York after at least two of the pieces were traced back to hotels in the area.

Representatives for the young man reported that the young man’s involvement was “more than just liking art.” A representative hinted that there was much more going on in the man’s life. The art was taken during a time when the man had “been struggling with particular difficulties.” It is not clear at this point what those specific difficulties were, but he is described as being “a pleasant, engaging young man who is in a bit of trouble.”

Although the pieces of art had high values ranging from around $1,800 to $350,000, it appears that the man did not intend to sell any of the pieces for a personal monetary profit.

Source: The New York Times, “Man Pleads Not Guilty in Thefts of Art From Hotels,” Noah Rosenberg, Dec. 2, 2011

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