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article imagePolice arrest man in theft of Picasso drawing

By Kim I. Hartman     Jul 8, 2011 in Crime
San Francisco - The San Francisco Police Department has arrested a man responsible for the theft of a Picasso pencil sketch Tuesday, with an estimated value of a quarter of a million dollars.
Police investigators got a break in the case of a stolen Picasso this week when the video surveillance camera of a local San Francisco bar, Lefty O'Doul's, recorded the suspect on film as he walked past the entrance with the Picasso drawing under his arm, moments after stealing it from the Weinstein Gallery, reports NBC Bay Area News.
Police report Mark Lugo, 30, of Hoboken, New Jersey was taken into custody in Napa, California, on Wednesday after detectives were able to locate the videotape of Lugo as he stepped into a cab, when leaving the scene of the robbery.
The alleged art thief walked into "the Weinstein Gallery on the 300 block of Geary Street, where he removed a Picasso pencil on paper sketch worth $275,000. The suspect then walked out of the gallery got into a taxi cab and fled the scene," according to the police report.
Investigators were able to use the videotape secured from Lefty O'Doul's to identify the taxi cab company and the suspect shortly after the theft took place. Following an interview of the driver, who provided police with the address of where he took the man, police say they impounded the cab for evidence.
Police investigators were able to track the suspect to a hotel in Napa where hotel staff provided his name and room number to detectives.
Lugo did not resist when officers knocked on his hotel room door and identified themselves. He allowed investigators to search his room and belongings. He was taken into custody after police officers were able to locate the stolen Picasso sketch.
The recovered 1965 Picasso drawing is titled "Tete de Femme."
Lugo was charged with burglary, possession of stolen property, possession of controlled substances without a prescription, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of a narcotic controlled substance.
Police have not provided information as to what illegal drugs were found in Lugo's hotel room.
Lugo remains in jail in San Francisco. His bail is set at $5-million.
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