A New Video Shows How a Thief Used a Sledgehammer to Steal a Dutch Museum’s Prized Van Gogh. Watch Footage of the Brazen Heist Here

The thief arrived at the museum by motorcycle and left with the painting tucked under his arm.

Video of the heist reveals how the thief got into the museum.
Video of the heist reveals how the thief got into the museum.

Recently released security footage reveals how a thief was able to steal a Vincent van Gogh painting from the Singer Laren Museum in the Netherlands.

The robber, who arrived to the museum on a motorcycle, broke in by smashing reinforced glass doors with a sledgehammer. Leaving the scene, the thief took Van Gogh’s The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring (1884), carrying the painting under his right arm.

Video of the daring theft, which took place around 3:15 a.m. on March 30, first aired on the Dutch crime show Opsporing Verzocht.

“It looks like they very deliberately targeted this one Van Gogh painting,” police spokesperson Maren Wonder said on the show. She has called on visitors to the museum in the days before its March 14 closure to come forward with any possible information, and share any photos or videos they took on the premises.

“People can help if they now realize that another visitor was behaving suspiciously.”

Vincent van Gogh, The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring(1884) ©Groninger Museum.

Vincent van Gogh, The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring (1884). ©Groninger Museum.

The police have reportedly received 56 tips from the public about the theft, but there have been no arrests. It is unclear whether the robber was acting alone, but authorities are seeking information about a white van that was caught on security cameras driving past the museum.

The released footage of the break-in only shows part of the burglary.

“The burglar broke through a number of doors and several layers of security,” the museum’s managing director, Evert van Os, said in a statement issued to the Associated Press. “The footage released does not therefore allow any conclusions to be drawn as to the quality of security at Singer Laren.”

The painting, which was on loan from another Dutch institution, the Groninger Museum, has not been located. The oil-on-paper work measures roughly 10 by 22 inches, and was painted around the same time as Van Gogh’s famous The Potato Eaters, when the artist was back home with his family in a rural part of the Netherlands. The composition is of a person standing in a garden before trees and a church tower.

“At the moment, the only thing that matters is that the footage should yield useful tips and that the painting should be returned undamaged to the Groninger Museum as soon as possible,” Van Os said in his statement.

See footage of the heist below.


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