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 majoroffendersdivision@houstonpolice.org.

"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

ARTFIXdaily Closed Week of Feb. 17

  • ArtfixDaily / February 16th, 2020

ARTFIXdaily will be closed the week of February 17. E-newsletter service for subscribers will resume on February ...

Read More...
Barbara Kruger, Untitled (Questions) at NeueHouse, Los Angeles.  Photo: Fredrik Nilsen

Barbara Kruger Has Some Big 'Questions' Popping Up Around L.A. During Frieze Week

  • ArtfixDaily / February 13th, 2020

'Who Buys the Con?' is one of 20 questions that renowned conceptual artist Barbara Kruger poses to passersby. For ...

Read More...
Elisabeth Wild, Untitled (181), 2018.  Collage on paper, 28.8 x 16.7 cm.

Collage Artist Elisabeth Wild, Whose Career Took Off in Her 90s, Remembered

  • ArtfixDaily / February 13th, 2020

Collage artist Elisabeth Wild has passed away, age 98, at her home in Guatemala.  Wild recently designed the ...

Read More...
Portrait of Joyce J.  Scott Photo: Christina Marie Hicks

American Craft Council Celebrates 50 Years of Awards - Check Out the Remarkable Work of This Year's Honorees

  • ArtfixDaily / February 12th, 2020

The American Craft Council (ACC), a national nonprofit dedicated to advancing American craft, is celebrating 50 ...

Read More...

ARTFIXdaily Artwire