The Moment - Feb 22, 2020

Crime Ring Used Social Media For Multi-million Dollar Art Thefts Around Houston

  • July 25, 2019 15:19

  • Email
"California Hills in Spring," a Childe Hassam painting stolen from the home of Tony Buzbee.
Houston Police Dept.
"Jeune Femme au Chapeau noir," a Pierre Bonnard work stolen from the home of Tony Buzbee.
Houston Police Dept.

Burglars used social media to monitor victims' activities, scout their homes, and steal millions in artwork and other property, say Houston police. Seven people have been arrested in connection to the crimes.

Among the victims was attorney Tony Buzbee, who is running for Houston mayor. He had around $21 million worth of artwork stolen, including works by Childe Hassam, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Pierre Bonnard, Jean Pierre Cassigneul and Fernand Leger, among others, say officials. Some of the artwork has not been recovered. A $50,000 reward is offered; information can be relayed to HPD’s Major Offenders Division at 713-308-3100 or email

"Paysage au coq rouge," a Fernand Leger work stolen from the home of Tony Buzbee.
Houston Police Dept.

The crime ring at times monitored victims' social media accounts, infiltrated their large parties to survey the premises, and followed people's daily routines before breaking into homes to steal valuable items. Information has not been released on all of the stolen property.

Police were led to the burglars when a confidential informant notified them that several watches valued at about $115,000, from 30 timepieces stolen from Buzbee's home, were offered for sale, according to court documents. 

Read more at Houston Chronicle (slideshow includes images of stolen artwork)

  • Email

More News Feed Headlines

Shown in the 2014 exhibition "Degas/Cassatt" at the National Gallery of Art, Mary Cassatt, The Loge, c.  1878–1880, oil on canvas.

On Stage, 'The Independents' Probes the Colorful Relationship of Artists Mary Cassatt and Edgar Degas

  • ArtfixDaily / October 15th, 2019

A visit to the National Gallery of Art in DC five years ago sparked the imagination of playwright Christopher Ward. ...

In the second half of 2019, Sotheby’s fall sales series in Hong Kong, with 3,423 lots sold across 20 auctions conducted over five days, brought a total of HK$3.35 billion / US$426 million – the sixth consecutive Hong Kong series to exceed US$400 million (Estimate: HK$2.5 – 3.57 billion / US$318 – 456 million).

Global Art Market Slows in First Half of 2019

  • Barron's / October 14th, 2019

The global art market slowed due to political and economic uncertainty in the first half of 2019, according to ...

Masters of engineering student Karly Bast of MIT shows off the scale model of a bridge designed by Leonardo da Vinci that she and her co-workers used to prove the design’s feasibility.  Credit: Gretchen Ertl

MIT Engineers Prove Leonardo da Vinci Was a Bridge Design

  • ArtfixDaily / October 10th, 2019

Some 500 years after his death, Leonardo da Vinci is still well-known as a Renaissance master artist and prolific ...

Banksy, Devolved Parliament, brought an artist auction record of $12.2 million at Sotheby's London.

Banksy 'Devolved Parliament' Snags a Bananas Record Price of $12.2 Million at Auction

  • Guardian / October 3rd, 2019

As Brexit looms on Halloween, a painted satire of Britain's House of Commons filled with arguing chimpanzees brought ...


Related Press Releases

ARTFIXdaily Artwire