Mark Lugo, the Hoboken wine steward accused of a number of art thefts including that of a $275,000 Picasso sketch in San Francisco, is due to be arraigned in New York today. Lugo just finished a 138-day sentence in California for the Picasso; the arraignment in New York is related to two art heists at Manhattan hotels, according to the AP’s source.
Lugo became a suspect in several art thefts in New York after the San Francisco crime, in which he walked into the Weinstein Gallery, casually took the drawing “Tête de Femme” off the wall, and moseyed out into a taxi.
Police found about $500,000 worth of stolen artwork in Lugo’s Hoboken apartment, including another stolen Picasso. It was all displayed prominently.
In New York, the charges against Lugo include the theft of a $350,000 Fernand Leger drawing from the Carlyle Hotel, and the theft of five works by South Korean artist Mie Kim from the Chambers Hotel, each worth $1,800.
It’s not known whether Lugo has a lawyer in New York or whether the New York investigation will continue into other crimes he’s thought to be related to.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 2, 2011