Drugs and Ammo Seized, But Northeast Art Thieves Still at Large
Two suspects have been arrested in connection to the theft on August 15 of 11 artworks from Marguerite’s Restaurant in Westport, Massachusetts, though the prime suspects and the art pieces, said to be worth $15,000, are still missing.
According to WPRI, local police went to a home on Old County Road in search of the prime suspects in the art heist, Tyler Arruda and Matthew Cordeiro, both 22. Instead, they found two pounds of marijuana and other drugs, lots of riffle ammo, and the couple who live in the house, Dwayne and Stephanie Hart, who they promptly arrested.
Meanwhile, Cordeiro and Arruda’s whereabouts, and their connection to the Harts, remain unknown. Likewise for the 11 “Sailors Valentines,” octagonal bas-relief sculptures made of seashells in elaborate patterns that were created by Barbara Chadwick, a local artist (see example above). Her family is offering up to $5,000 for information that will lead to the arrest of the art thieves. Arruda and Cordeiro have been charged with malicious property damage, larceny over $250, and felony breaking and entering.
Left with few leads to investigate, the Wesport police is turning to citizens to help track down the thieves and the art. They warn that the suspects may be trying to sell or give away the artworks, so beware of any young men trying to give you a “Sailors Valentine.”
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