Mark Lugo, the Hoboken man recently busted in a hotel in Napa for the theft of Picasso’s 1965 “Tete de Femme” drawing, which he had snatched from San Francisco’s Weinstein Gallery and then fled by taxi, is really more of a Thomas Crown than we had originally hoped for. The man had a veritable gallery hanging on the walls of his Hoboken apartment, say police — about $500,000 worth of other stolen artwork, including another Picasso, reports NBC NY.
Lugo’s Hoboken apartment was raided after Lugo called a female friend in Pennsylvania from the San Francisco jail where he’s being held, awaiting arraignment today. Hoboken police Detective Sgt. Edwin Pantoja said, “The Picasso was hanging on his wall. The others were displayed all over his apartment. He had a nice little gallery going on.”
Lugo’s attorney is claiming that the crimes are due to some compulsion on the part of his client, not the dealings of a sophisticated art thief, and that Lugo will likely plead not guilty. This notwithstanding the fact that Lugo’s latest acquired Picasso was found “undamaged, unframed and prepped in Napa to be shipped to an undisclosed location.”
The other Picasso was traced to the Carlyle hotel, where it had been stolen last month. Lugo has fine tastes — he was also charged with stealing $6,000 worth of wine from a New Jersey wine store in April.