A burglar broke into and stole a $1.5 million statue of the Buddha in Los Angeles last week, before being apprehended. The theft also follows a number of other high-profile burglaries, including the theft of an expensive artwork in New York last week.
According to police, a man allegedly stole a 250-pound statue of the Buddha from a Los Angeles art gallery last month.
The suspect, Justin Livck, was arrested on suspicion of possession of stolen property and was released.
The Japanese statue was discovered in a truck toward the end of the month. Police said that they did not know yet whether Livick stole the statue or had purchased it after the theft.
Police have footage of a moving truck pulling up to the gallery around 3:45 a.m. on Sept. 18. According to the footage, a person exits the vehicle, opens a gate and enters the gallery. The statue was taken out of the building with a dolly in the 25-minute burglary.
The theft from the Barakat Gallery represents the wider wave of crime that has struck large cities, including Los Angeles. The statue’s owner said that fencing the statue would have been difficult, saying that “there’s nowhere where you can sell this piece.”
He said that “it’s like a museum heist type thing where, what are you going to do with this object right now? We’re all very curious and really puzzled, to be honest.”
A family-owned gallery in New York City is reeling after a thief stole a painting worth around $5,000 during a Monday smash-and-grab burglary, authorities said.https://t.co/MHIlpkMcZM
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) September 26, 2023
The theft of the Buddha statue also comes as a burglar broke into a New York City art gallery and stole a $5,000 painting.
Photos show broken glass at Carlton Fine Arts in Manhattan where a burglar allegedly entered at around 2:15 a.m. The painting in question had been featured on a wooden easel. The thief escaped via a silver sedan driven by another person.
The gallery did not announce which painting had been stolen, although it has displayed art from Andy Warhol and Pablo Picasso in the past.