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High-End Art, Porsche Nabbed in $10-Million Heist

UPDATED: Wine "that you can't get in this country" also listed among the unique and pricey stolen property from CEO of DoubleLine Capital. Santa Monica Police seek information from the public.

A thief with expensive taste stole high-end paintings by the likes of Piet Mondrian and Jasper Johns, a red Porsche Carrera and other valuables worth more than $10 million from a home in the upscale North of Montana neighborhood.

Authorities released photos of the artwork Wednesday evening and sought information from the public about the crime, which reportedly occurred at the home of multimillionaire financier Jeffrey Gundlach in the 500 block of 12th Street.

Among the stolen goods were 40 bottles of wine "that you can't get here in this country," said Santa Monica Police Sgt. Richard Lewis. He put the price tag of the wine alone at $100,000.

Gundlach, the CEO of DoubleLine Capital, was the victim of the crime, sources told the Los Angeles Times. Lewis declined to confirm the identity of the crime victim.

The burglar went to work during a two-day period Sept. 12-14 while the homeowner was out of town, according to Lewis. The sergeant said he could not disclose how the home was burglarized or the number of thieves involved.

"That's part of the investigation," he said.

The art was mostly modern paintings, including two works by Joseph Cornell. (A full photo gallery of the stolen pieces is above this article). Other stolen property were several expensive watches and money. The Porsche was parked in the garage.

The victim declined to comment.

— City News Service contributed to this report.

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mimi September 20, 2012 at 04:14 PM
Definitely an inside job. Not only did the thieves know their prey was not home, but they also knew how many days they had to complete their caper. I'm inclined to look in the direction of trusted family members or close neighbors. Jewelry and wine can be fenced, easily. Not so for masterpiece art which is one a kind and easily identifiable. No honest art dealer will touch the stuff. Of course, there is an underground art market supported by unscrupulous collectors. But the collector will not be able to enjoy or display the art. It will be stashed away in the attic until the collector dies. What a waste of time, energy, money and art.. For the record, unless the wine was bootlegged and bottled in a foreign country (rather implausible), all legally bottled wine is available for purchase in the USA, if the buyer/collector is willing to pay the hefty asking price. Perhaps the detective meant the bottles were "rare", instead of unavailable.
Glenn E Grab September 20, 2012 at 05:20 PM
sounds like an insurance hoax to me.....the only person benefitting from this "burglary" is the homeowner.....obviously the "burglar" knew when the poor homeowner was going to be out of town....he "stole" a bunch of overpriced "artworks" that , in this economy, are way down in value,,,,like they say, follow the money...
Glenn E Grab September 20, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Jenna, I looked at the "artwork".....the burglar had bad taste....
Glenn E Grab September 20, 2012 at 05:29 PM
mimi, you noticed that everything really valuable taken was a bunch of overpriced crap that's not even sellable...while you're looking, how about the homeowner as a suspect?...why wasn't the burglar alarm functioning?...there had to be one at the house.....
GasMeUp September 20, 2012 at 06:56 PM
Thank goodness for GG's speedy evaluations. Apparently we could have here a forensics expert -- a Columbo protege perhaps?-- who says he's "looked at" (to quote him) and then seemingly demeaned the "artwork" (his quotes) which some "burglar" (his quotes) according to him "stole" (his quotes again). Well then- case mostly solved!? And without having to wait for all the facts & details to be professionally gathered too. Send in the next mystery please. Gratis, of course. Compliments of the Patch's "Comments" (my quotes) department.
Glenn E Grab September 20, 2012 at 07:44 PM
gasmeup.....20 bucks says the homeowner is involved in this fiasco....he's the only one who stands to make any money off of this fiasco...I'll venture to say the cops are thinking the same thing...
GasMeUp September 21, 2012 at 06:05 AM
Shucks GG, I don't have access to such large amounts of cash/assets anymore. Everything's now stashed in large quantities of gold bullion and in the Caymans. That way, I don't worry about being broken into by some "burglar" who the cops & others then think was me who "stole" my own stuff. Please don't tell anyone. I want to keep all this a big secret.
Glenn E Grab September 21, 2012 at 04:26 PM
golly gee, GasMeUp, was it your house that was robbed?...it's ok if it was, I'm sure you're well insured.....you'll get over it
mimi September 22, 2012 at 05:40 PM
Hey Guys - Show some love for each other. A spirited conversation is good. Dissing, not so much. The reason I believe the owner is not involved is: no wine lover would ever, ever, voluntarily part with his prized wine collection. It's analogous to arranging a kidnapping of your children for financial gain. Unfathomable. The art is another story, altogether, regardless of anyone's aesthetic appreciation. Mondrian originals are hot. No pun intended. Personally, I find art heists to be byzantine & fascinating. Any predictions as to how this one will end?
Eileen Pedersen September 23, 2012 at 04:46 PM
Stealing the Porsche will be the thiefs undoing. I would drink the wine while I comptemplated the art waiting for the police to arrive.
Glenn E Grab September 23, 2012 at 09:35 PM
there's something fishy about the wine, pardon the expression....the porsche will go to a chop shop or to Mexico and will never be heard from again..
Glenn E Grab September 23, 2012 at 09:40 PM
mimi, the hotter they are the harder they are to fence....what might happen is someone inocently "discovering" these paintings somewhere and claiming the reward.....remember the LA Philharmonic's Strad cello that magically turned up near a trash bin...
mimi September 24, 2012 at 03:44 PM
Glenn- I totally agree on the fate of the Porsche. Since the art can never be fenced and there are collectors whose social circles include savvy art thieves, it's plausible for a. greedy collector to mastermind the caper. Many art collectors know and appreciate fine wine. If so, the car, jewelry and other valuables were used as bait to entice the employees. Not unlike a bogo or 2 for 1 sale. The collector gets the art & wine for personal consumption. The thieves get a plethora of easy to fence items for themselves. If true, it's a brilliant and creative partnership. Nevertheless, I'm still not ruling out family members, neighbors or business associates. I feel like a geriatric Nancy Drew.
Glenn E Grab September 25, 2012 at 02:37 PM
mimi, it's definately someone close to the owner..... not Nancy Drew.....remember Angela Lansbury in "Murder. She Wrote?...

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