A thief has quickly returned an Old Master drawing that was swiped from a Ritz-Carlton Hotel exhibit in Marina del Rey, Calif., on Saturday night.
On Monday night, police got a tip that Rembrandt's "The Judgment" was in Encino, Calif. The drawing was found in an office by an assistant pastor at Saint Nicholas Episcopal Church in Encino, said the Rev. Michael Cooper.
The Dutch master's drawing, valued at $250,000, was probably dropped off at the church when the thief realized it would be a hard sell, even on the black market, according to investigators.
“They don’t know what they’re going to do with the drawing… they’ll find out very quickly they can’t sell it because they’re going to get caught,” art dealer Kevin Anderson told NBC.
The Linearis Institute, which staged the ehibition, identified the recovered quill pen-and-ink drawing of 1655 as the authentic missing piece.
After Picasso, Rembrandt is a top pick for art theives with about 81 Rembrandt artworks stolen over the past century.