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Rembrandt drawing found; thieves still outstanding

August 16, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A stolen Rembrandt drawing was recovered just days after thieves made off with the valuable artwork from a luxury hotel. But the mystery isn't over yet.

Just two days after it was taken from an art exhibit in Marina del Rey, "The Judgment" has been found, and where it was found is only adding to the mystery in the case.

The artwork was found at St. Nicholas Church in Encino.

"We got an anonymous tip. All we were told was, 'We think we know where this is,'" said Steve Whitmore of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Officers responded to the church at about 7 p.m. Monday and found the drawing.

The person who found the artwork wanted to remain anonymous, but he told Eyewitness News that he left his office for about 10 minutes, and when he came back, the drawing was sitting in the office.

Authorities suspect the thieves may have panicked when they saw all the news coverage about the famous drawing.

"They may not have had the "know how" on how to sell it or make money for it, so they stopped what they were doing and took it to the church," said sheriff's deputy Clarence Williams.

"The Judgment" is part of a private collection and is believed to be worth $250,000. The drawing did not appear to damaged.

Officials said they got an anonymous tip from an informant about the possible location of the drawing called "The Judgment."

Authorities are hoping surveillance video from the hotel will help them track down the thieves. There was no surveillance system at the church.

The incident remains under investigation. Anyone with information was asked to contact the Marina del Rey sheriff's station at (310) 482-6000.