NPR Story
4:43 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Tracking A $500 Million Art Heist

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 10:42 am

The FBI is seeking information in what is the largest property crime case in history. In 1990, thieves dressed as police officers made off with 13 art pieces valued at up to $500 million. They included two Rembrandt oil paintings.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

For a chance to earn $5 million, listen up.

(SOUNDBITE OF A DRUM ROLL AND AN FBI PODCAST)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: The FBI is seeking information in what is the largest property crime case in history.

MONTAGNE: What you're hearing is a podcast produced by the FBI.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Love the little drum roll. The agency wants the public's help in solving an art heist perpetrated 23 years ago this week.

MONTAGNE: Late at night, two men dressed as police officers talked their way into Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. The thieves tied up the guards and stole 13 pieces of art by Rembrandt, Degas and Monet.

INSKEEP: The paintings empty frames still hang in the museum today, a reminder of the $500 million heist.

(SOUNDBITE OF A DRUM ROLL AND AN FBI PODCAST)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: The museum is offering a $5 million reward for information that leads directly to the recovery of the artwork in good condition.

INSKEEP: Investigators now think they know who did this. They suspect the thieves tried to sell the art in Philadelphia. But they still do not know where the art is. Hence, the social media outreach and the handsome reward. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.