Mustachioed Marc Ecko Thief Signed in With Fake Name, and Other Clues in KAWS Theft


Last Friday we reported on the daring heist of a $100,000 KAWS poster, the one done in acrylic over a Calvin Klein ad featuring Kate Moss, perpetrated by a guy wearing a mustache, dark glasses, and a dark green hoodie. We spoke to Katie Hill, Ecko’s assistant, today to get the latest on the crime. While we were initially dubious that this wasn’t some work of performance art itself, given the hipster-esque presentation and James Franco/David Arquette/Matt Dillon-ness of the thief, she assured us that it is absolutely a real crime.

On Thursday evening of last week, around 6 p.m., the thief showed up at Ecko’s office on West 23rd Street. He removed the work of art created by KAWS, or Brian Donnelly, who is, according to Hill, great friends with Ecko. The thief rolled the poster in a tube and was photographed by the elevator’s security camera (hence the photo above) in his escape, but, as Ecko’s Tumblr (and this photo) explains, he cunningly left no fingerprints.

Hill told us that more clues have come out during the investigation. One of the most intriguing is this:

“We have a doorman downstairs who gets packages and lets people in. [The thief] signed a fake name, and came up to the 2nd floor [where Ecko’s office is located]. He did know the code to get in, so he probably knows someone who worked here or does work here. We suspect that he knows someone who knows the code,” said Hill. Which means, to you Thomas Crown fans: Inside job.

The thief, who was not recognized by Ecko or Hill, used the name “Nat Heller” to sign in, which didn’t ring any bells with them, either. (A one-time role played by Christopher Wiehl in the TV show Dark Skies? Face shape is similar! Or, perhaps, a riff on “Nate Heller,” from Max Allan Collins’ P.I. series?) “Heller” also claimed, on the sign-in sheet, to be from the company Zoroaster.

“Google it,” said Hill. “It comes up as some weird rock band.” (Also: ancient Iranian prophet and the founder of Zoroastrianism.)

The piece is valued at $100,000, which is an estimation, and, said Hill, “It’s probably worth more now.” In terms of emotional cost, “the work is definitely very special to Marc,” said Hill. “He’s bummed.” As for the artist, she said, “I have not spoken to KAWS; I don’t think he’s commented on it publicly.”

Meanwhile, the NYPD continues to investigate. “They’ve been great, and they’re on the case,” said Hill. “We hope that they’ll figure it out sooner rather than later.”

Ecko writes on his Tumblr,

Det. Timpanaro
(646) 610 6910 or 1- (800) 577 TIPS (CRIMESTOPPERS)

Previously: $100,000 KAWS Poster Stolen From Marc Ecko Gallery by Hipster-Type Person