$39 Million in Stolen Artwork Recovered

When the California home of Jeffrey Gundlach, a high-end bond fund manager, was burglarized in September, 2012, collectors around the world were aghast at the brazen theft of Gundlach’s artworks. The Santa Monica Police Department confirmed at the time that thirteen paintings had been stolen for a value of almost $39 million, including pieces by Frank Stella, Guy Rose, Hanson Duvall Puthuff, Jasper Johns’ famous Green Target and Piet Mondrian’s 1936 Composition (A) En Rouge Et Blanc. While other luxury items, including a Porsche Carrerra 4S and several fine wines were also taken, the art world expressed concerns that the thieves may destroy the priceless paintings if they were unable to sell them. The sale of high-end artwork is tightly regulated, and police have closed in on the black market as well in recent years.

However, it was announced this week that the Santa Monica Police Department recovered all of the artwork and has two suspects for the crime in custody. The remaining stolen property has not been found as of this time. Police officers recovered most of the stolen pieces at Al & Ed’s Autosound, a business in Pasadena, where they  apprehended manager Jeffrey Nieto in connection with the robbery. The second alleged thief, Wilmer Cadiz was arrested at his home in San Gabriel, where another four paintings were found. The remaining work of art turned up in the Los Angeles community of Glendale. The person in possession of this work has been interviewed, and is cooperating with the police.

Nieto and Cadiz remain in jail with a bail of $500,000 and $20,000 respectively while police continue their investigation into the crimes. It is not clear if the police believe that the two men actually committed the burglary, or if they have lawyers to represent them. Gundlach, who offered a $1.7 million reward for the missing artwork issued a statement affirming his relief for the recovered property saying, “This is a great day for the art world and all those who seek order and justice in our society.” There is no word on whether the reward has been paid.

Content source.  Photo courtesy of LA Times.