Art Thief Gets Sentenced for Hotel Lobby Heists

  • February 28, 2012 20:55

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Surveillance footage from Lefty O'Douls restaurant of a man suspected of swiping a Picasso from a San Francisco gallery.
Lefty O'Douls

A sometime sommelier and Manhattan restaurant staffer who had a penchant for pricey artwork was sentenced to 1 to 3 years of prison time for theft in New York on Tuesday.

Mark Lugo, 31, has already served 138 days behind bars for stealing a $275,000 Picasso drawing called "Tete de Femme" ("Head of a Woman") from the walls of San Francisco's Weinstein Gallery in July.

He will now do time for a series of thefts in New York. He pleaded guilty to taking a $350,000 drawing by Cubist painter Fernand Leger from Manhattan's Carlyle Hotel in June.

Authorities say Lugo displayed a $430,000 collection of stolen art in his Hoboken, New Jersey, apartment.

Lugo's lawyer, James Montgomery, claims his client's illicit acquistions were not for commerical gain. "His interest in these things was aesthetic," said Montgomery.

Read more at Newsday


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