NJ Man Arrested in Picasso Theft - NBC New York

NJ Man Arrested in Picasso Theft



    Lefty O'Doul's, a shop next door to the gallery, has video of the man who allegedly yanked a Picasso drawing off a gallery wall and then got in a cab with it. (Published Thursday, July 7, 2011)

    A New Jersey man has been arrested in the San Francisco theft of a Picasso drawing estimated to be worth $200,000.

    San Francisco Police held a morning news conference Thursday to announce the break in the case,  and also had the Picasso on hand.  Police identified the suspect as Mark Lugo of Hoboken.

    Police said Lugo flew out to the Bay Area on Monday.  He was arrested in Napa on Wednesday.

    Investigators credited a security camera at Lefty O'Doul's bar as key to the break in the case.

    The camera at the bar caught a man walking by at the time of the caper.

    Here's how the theft went down: On Tuesday a man walked into the Weinstein Gallery on Geary Street and walked away with a 1965 Picasso drawing titled "Tete de Femme."

    Police said the thief then jumped into a cab and drove off. 

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    But before he hailed the cab, he walked in front of Lefty O'Doul's with the drawing under his arm. The bar is just a couple doors down from the gallery. 

    Police said Lugo had taken the drawing out of the frame, but did not know what he intended to do with it. He faces charges including burglary, grand theft, possession of stolen property.

    Lugo's bail has been set at $5 million. It was not immediately clear whether he had an attorney.