Man charged with taking Dali work from NYC gallery

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 19, 2013 at 11:18 pm •  Published: February 19, 2013
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Shortly after learning authorities had distributed security photos of him that were seen around the world, Istavrioglou took the $150,000 work out of its frame. He then rolled it up in a cardboard tube — "in a manner befitting a college dorm poster" — and mailed it back to New York without a return address, prosecutor Jordan Arnold said.

New York Police Department detectives lifted fingerprints from the shipment that matched one from a juice bottle that they say Istavrioglou shoplifted last year from a Whole Foods market, giving them a name, police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said. An investigator posing as an art gallery owner later tricked Istavrioglou into returning to New York by offering him a possible position as a consultant.

Federal agents intercepted Istavrioglou at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Saturday. While speaking to detectives that afternoon, court papers say, he "indicated he knew the theft would catch up to him and wants to make (the) situation right."



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