Art Crime

$10 M. in Stolen Artworks Returned to Jeffrey Gundlach, Two Arrested

piet mondrian composition a en rouge et blanc 1936 $10 M. in Stolen Artworks Returned to Jeffrey Gundlach, Two Arrested

Piet Mondrian, ‘Composition (A) En Rouge Et Blanc,’ 1936 was one of the paintings stolen from Gundlach’s home. (Courtesy Santa Monica Police Dept.)

The $10 million worth of artwork stolen from the Southern California home of bond trader Jeffrey Gundlach in mid September has been returned, the Los Angeles Times reports. Nearly all of the collection—including works by Piet Mondrian, Jasper Johns and Richard Diebenkorn—was found Wednesday when police raided an automobile stereo shop, found there all but one of the missing artworks and arrested the 45-year-old shop manager.

A second suspect was arrested at his home. Both arrests were made on suspicion of possessing stolen property. The person in possession of the last painting, found at a residence, is cooperating with investigators and has not been arrested.

It’s believed that Mr. Gundlach’s offer of an astounding $1.7 million in reward had a lot to do with it.

Snippets from the story:

The reward offer played a key role in the paintings’ recovery, according to a law enforcement source who was familiar with the case but not authorized to speak about it. The source said additional suspects may be arrested.

It was not clear whether the reward money would be paid to the person who provided the tip that led to the arrests.

Gundlach did not know who, if anybody, would get the reward. He had offered $1 million for the return of a Mondrian painting called “Composition (A) En Rouge Et Blanc.” The offer is said to be the highest-ever reward for a single painting. That was the painting Gundlach said the thieves had been trying to unload.

Alas, Mr. Gundlach’s Porsche, also stolen during the burglary, is still missing.