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Local artist's $5K artwork stolen from Venice street festival

October 1, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A local artist is asking for the public's help to track down a thief who walked off with an artwork at a Venice festival.

Josh Serafin, of Huntington Beach, was selling his work at the Abbot Kinney Festival over the weekend. The suspect walked off with a painting of a leopard shark on reclaimed glass, priced at about $5,000.

"I was loading like two pieces and turned around to get that piece, and it was gone," Serafin said. "I've never had anything stolen in my 12 years of me doing these shows."

His tent was set up right in front of FEED Body & Soul restaurant, which has a video camera facing the street. Tens of thousands of people were there, but Serafin says no one reported anything to police.

"To steal someone's art that they spent so much time on, it's just hard to believe. I mean I guess, people, it must be that they're high," Serafin said.

He said it's shocking that no one reported seeing the theft, since his artwork is very large.

"It's 70 pounds. This is a heavy piece. I need help hanging it. It isn't light. So it was definitely a joined effort," Serafin said.

The artist and family man has been painting for over 20 years. He has two daughters at home. This theft not only set him back financially - but emotionally as well.

Police will be reviewing the restaurant's surveillance video. If you have any information about this crime, contact Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.