Police Recover Rare Art Stolen in Santa Monica Burglary

Two suspects are in custody, but the case isn't closed. Santa Monica Police continue seeking information from the public about the crime.

Thirteen artworks worth millions of dollars nabbed in a burglary of an upscale Santa Monica home have been recovered—a majority from a Pasadena automotive supply store—and two men were in custody Thursday evening. 

Santa Monica police reported locating four of the paintings at a home in the city of San Gabriel and another in Glendale. The majority were recovered when officers served a search warrant at Al & Ed's Autosound on Rosemead Boulevard in Pasadena.

Investigators were aided by the Pasadena Police Department, which had received a tip about where the art was being stored. Santa Monica detectives worked the case for 19 hours straight Wednesday, department spokesman Sgt. Richard Lewis told City News Service, adding he could not provide an exact timeline for the arrests.

The shop's manager, 45-year-old Jeffrey Nieto of Canyon Country, was booked on suspicion of possessing stolen property. In San Gabriel, police arrested 40-year-old Wilmer Bolsan Cadiz, also on suspicion of possessing stolen property. 

Cadiz had four of the paintings, according to the Santa Monica Police Department. "The last painting was recovered as investigators learned it had been transported to a residence in Glendale," said Lewis. "The subject in possession of this painting has been interviewed and is cooperating with investigators."

Some of the pieces were rare, including a Piet Mondrian painting, "Composition (A) en Rouge et Blanc." They were among the valuables stolen over a two-day period earlier this month in the the 500 block of 12th Street. The loot, which also included a red 2010 Porsche Carrera 4S, watches, money and 40 bottles of wine, was valued at $10 million.

The owner is Jeffrey Gundlach, CEO of Doubline Capital. He had been offering nearly $2 million in reward money for the safe return of the paintings. 

"The focus was on recovering the artwork, and it was all recovered," Gundlach told the Los Angeles Times. "The thieves had worked on moving the property, but we were able to get a good lead and apprehend them. It's a great day for the art world."

Burglary charges have not been filed in the case, said Lewis, and investigators continue to seek information from the public about possible suspects.

Dan Charney September 28, 2012 at 07:52 PM
Nothing like a $1.7 million dollar reward to help solve a material crime- way more than they could ever have sold them for most likely- smart man that Jeffrey.
Glenn E Grab October 01, 2012 at 03:50 PM
something's fishy about this case...
Dan Charney October 02, 2012 at 09:37 PM
Glenn- all that is fishy is that he is one smart guy- I bet the insurance was more than glad to pay the amount they did rather than pay out the whole claim- someone was also smart to turn them in- I bet the Porsche was long chopped into many pieces long before they got the tip though


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