Pebble Beach Art Owners Try To Make Nice

Caper entering third week

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Dan Kershner
    An investigation is ongoing and is currently being handled by the Monterey County Sheriff's Department.

    A Pebble Beach art heist worth as much as $80 million has gone from Thomas Crown to the Usual Suspects and we may not be to intermission in this high stakes caper.

     After being involved in a finger-pointing match, the owners of the large collection of art now say they want to team up with Monterey County sheriff's deputies to solve the case.

    Attorneys for A. Benjamin Amadio and Dr. Ralph Kennaugh held a news conference in Santa Cruz on Friday where an itemized list, which consisted of 19 descriptions and images from the art collection, were released to counter allegations that the prized pieces may not exist.
     
    The stolen collection includes works by Jackson Pollock, Rembrandt and Van Gogh.

    During the nearly hour-long news conference at the Chaminade Resort, attorney Vicki St. John said that Amadio and Kennaugh will not seek a defamation lawsuit against the Monterey County Sheriff's Department after threatening one earlier this week.

    Itemized List Of Stolen Artwork

     Although happy with the change in Amadio and Kennaugh's tone, Cmdr. Mike Richards said that the two remain suspects and that he is standing by every word said during Tuesday's news conference.

    "They are suspects," Richards said Tuesday. "We feel manipulated. The bottom line is, this is a simple investigation. It can be made a lot easier with the cooperation of the victims. We've been blocked the entire way on this thing."

    Richards also said that he doesn't understand why the itemized list was given to the media before the sheriff's department and that deputies have not spoken with any witness who said they have seen the stolen art first hand.

    Amadio and Kennaugh, meanwhile, did not take questions at the news conference, but Action News reporter May Chow found Amadio eating lunch at a bar at the Chaminade Resort.

    Amadio said he wants to move forward and focus on the investigation into the heist and get away from the finger pointing.

    "We like to come up with easy answers and just say, 'Well this person must have done it themselves,' because that is a lot easier than really comprehending the truth that there is bad people out there," Amadio said.

    Amadio and Kennaugh are planning to move to Santa Cruz after being evicted from the Pebble Beach rental home, and that they are working with a San Francisco museum to house the rest of the art.

    Also, according to St. John, it is still unknown how many of the stolen paintings were insured.

    St. John added that the reason it took so long to produce an itemized list of the stolen art was because the list and images were located on a hard drive in Boston, which is where Amadio and Kennaugh are originally from.

    There were, however, no receipts available for the stolen artwork, St. John said.

    Amadio and Kennaugh have hired their own private investigators who are also working on the case.
     

    Portions of this article appeared on KSBW.com.