A wine steward from Hoboken is due in court in connection with five stolen paintings taken from a New York hotel.
Fresh out of prison from stealing a $275,000 Picasso from a San Francisco Art Gallery, Mark Lugo, 31, allegedly didn't learn his lesson. He was arraigned on Friday on charges of grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property from two hotels Manhattan, according to a statement from the Manhattan D.A.'s office.
On June 14, prosecutors say Lugo had walked into the Chambers Hotel in Manhattan with a canvas tote bag. He proceeded to steal five Mie Yim painting entitled Pastel on Board which was originally bought by the hotel for $1,800 each. Then on June 28, Lugo entered the Helly Nahmad Gallery and simply took off the wall a $350,000 painting called Composition with Mechanical Elements, by Fernand Leger. However, Lugo had no intention of selling the paintings, said prosecutors. He simply wanted display the paintings in his house.
In an effort to display stolen art in his apartment, this repeat art thief boldly walked out of two Manhattan hotels in broad daylight with valuable paintings, said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance in a statement.
At his apartment in Hoboken, New York and New Jersey police officers found $430,000 in stolen art work and high priced wine.