LAPD attempts to track down owners of stolen art that went missing for more than 25 years

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Thursday, September 5, 2019
Stolen artwork missing for more than 25 years recovered by LAPD
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Dozens of valuable paintings and collectibles, including some dating back hundreds of years, were recently recovered by Los Angeles police.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Dozens of valuable paintings and collectibles were recently recovered by Los Angeles police.

"It feels like a museum," said Capt. Lillian Carranza of the LAPD.

Some of the items date back hundreds of years. Others are more recent, works including "The Bullring" by Pablo Picasso and a lithograph by Joan Miro.

There are also signed presidential collectibles. It's a remarkable story of stolen items that were missing for more than 25 years.

"They weren't stored properly if you go by the way art is normally stored, so some of them are slightly damaged," Det. Mel Vergara said.

Police are still trying to figure out how much they are all worth. But they do know that one that was stolen back in 1992 was worth $60,000 at that time.

Officials say back in the early 90s there were a number of robberies in the West L.A. area. The thieves would wait until a homeowner was away and then steal the artwork. They did arrest two people decades ago, but the artwork was not recovered.

In June of this year an art house received a few paintings and suspected they were stolen. They called the LAPD and after an investigation they served search warrants on four warehouses.

"A lot of them were stored in separate storage areas. One in Orange County and a couple in Los Angeles County," said Vergara.

Now they are trying to figure out who they belong to.

"This is very important to us and very important to the families, the victim who lost this art," Carranza says.