Art-Theft Suspect Pleads Not Guilty in NYC

Mark Lugo just finished serving 138 days for grabbing a Picasso in San Francisco.

By Jennifer Peltz
|  Friday, Dec 2, 2011  |  Updated 3:23 PM EDT
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Art-Theft Suspect Pleads Not Guilty in NYC

Mark Lugo and the art he allegedly stole, "Tete de Femme," from a San Francisco gallery.

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A man accused of a brazen bicoastal art-theft spree has pleaded not guilty in New York.

Mark Lugo is being held without bail after pleading not guilty Friday to grand larceny and other charges. He was released last month from a San Francisco jail after he admitted stealing a $275,000 Picasso from a gallery there.

Authorities say Lugo lifted pricey art from New York hotels simply by walking out with the works in a canvas tote bag.

In New York, the 31-year-old Lugo is charged with snatching a $350,000 drawing by the Cubist painter Fernand Leger and five works by the South Korea-born artist Mie Yim from two hotels. Both thefts were in June.

Authorities say the pieces were found hanging on the walls of his apartment in Hoboken, N.J.

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