Shameless Art Thief’s Brazen Daytime Heist Foiled

Video still from the security footage of the failed robbery.
Video still from the security footage of the failed robbery.

Gallery staff in the UK were able to stop a daring and brazen art theft attempt last month, when the would-be-burglar attempted to shove a painting into his sweatshirt before walking out the door with it under his arm, reports the Express and Star.

Security footage from CCTV shows the shameless crook in action, skulking about a secluded area of the gallery before setting his sights on a World War I-themed artwork. Casting an eye about, he makes sure he is unobserved before removing the artwork, worth £700 (about $1,140), from the wall. When the one-by-two-foot canvas proves too large to fit under his hoodie, he makes a dash for the door, artwork in hand.

Fortunately, the art thief’s outrageously shameless behavior did not escape the notice of gallery workers, who quickly confronted him outside the establishment. The shoplifter was quick to give the painting back, and beat a speedy retreat, fleeing the scene before the arrival of the West Midlands Police.

“The thief was quite optimistic in his attempts to conceal the artwork,” said the investigating officer, police constable Patrick Higgins, “but fortunately he made off empty handed.”

The bungled heist took place at the Castle Fine Art Gallery in Birmingham, shortly before 5 p.m. on August 17. The police have released the footage in the hopes of track down the culprit, saying “we are now keen to identify the man in the CCTV to prevent him from turning his attention to smaller objects.”

Check out the security footage of the ill-advised shoplifting attempt:

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