Trailer Containing Artworks By Chagall, Matisse, and Haring Stolen in LA

The owner had run out of storage space.

The trailer containing the art was stolen from an LA industrial park. Photo: LAPD Art Theft Detail

The trailer containing the art was stolen from an LA industrial park.
Photo: LAPD Art Theft Detail

A trailer containing paintings, prints and sculptures by Joan Miro, Leroy Neiman, Marc Chagall and Henri Matisse with an estimated combined value of $250,000 was stolen from an industrial park in Los Angeles, the LAPD Art Theft Detail announced yesterday in a crime alert.

The perpetrator also drove away with a variety of antiques, crystal and rugs, although The LAPD have not specified the nature of these items. According to police, the nondescript, white 24-foot 2005 Haulmark trailer was removed from the site- along with its precious cargo- on November 20, 2015. Police have made no indication as to why it took so long for them to make details of the theft public.

Police say the owner kept the artworks in the trailer because he ran out of warehouse space. Photo: Photo: LAPD Art Theft Detail

Police say the owner kept the artworks in the trailer because he ran out of warehouse space.
Photo: Photo: LAPD Art Theft Detail

An unnamed detective with the police’s Commercial Crimes Art Theft Detail said the owner had left his valuable collection parked on the street because he had run out of storage space.

“To the best of my knowledge it was a warehouse spacing issue,” the cop reportedly told Los Angeles local news site LA Weekly.

Meanwhile the Los Angeles Times reported that LAPD art theft Detective Donald Hrycyk had said that police were still putting together an exact inventory of the stolen artworks, but gave away no further details.

The crime occurred at an industrial park on the corner of Nordhoff Street and Alabama Avenue in Chatsworth. Photo: Google Earth

The crime occurred at an industrial park on the corner of Nordhoff Street and Alabama Avenue in Chatsworth.
Photo: Google Earth

There has been no indication if the owner’s insurance policy will cover the cost of lost items. However, it seems unlikely that the missing paintings will be compensated for given the carelessness of the “al fresco” storage arrangement employed by the owner.

Hrycyk emphasized that police believe someone may have witnessed the crime being committed, seen the trailer in transit, or might have knowledge of its whereabouts and are appealing to members of the public to contact the LAPD’s Art Theft Detail with any information they might have regarding the missing artworks and antiquities.


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