$27 Million Worth of Art Stolen in Pebble Beach

Professional thieves suspected in art caper

By Shawn Brouwer
|  Tuesday, Sep 29, 2009  |  Updated 8:31 AM PDT
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Dan Kershner

A very expensive art collection was stolen from a rented home in Pebble Beach.

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An art bandit made off with $27 million worth of paintings -- includings works by Jackson Pollock, Vincent Van Gogh and Rembrandt -- from a Pebble Beach home on Friday, and now the owners have offered $6 million in rewards for the capture of the Thomas Crown-like thieves.

The heist occured at the rented home of A. Benjamin Amadio and Dr. Ralph Kennaugh, who were living there temporarily while they looked to buy a new home in the area.

Amadio said the pieces of art hadn't been hung since they were just renting the home. He also said that several other pieces of art that were part of the collection weren't stolen.

Amadio and Kennaugh are offering two separate rewards -- a $1 million reward for the return of the stolen artwork, and a $5 million reward for the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the heist.

The $1 million reward can be claimed anonymously, Amadio said.

The following is a list of the stolen artwork: 

  •     G.H. Rothe (3 pieces)
  •     Jackson Pollock (1 piece)
  •     Matisse ( 1 piece)
  •     Miro (4 pieces)
  •     Rembrandt (2 pieces)
  •     Renoir (1 piece)
  •     Van Gogh ( 1piece)

The Monterey County Sheriff's Department is investigating the theft, and Amadio and Kennaugh also hired a private investigator.

Both Amadio and Kennaugh are originally from Massachusetts. Amadio is an entrepreneur, while his housemate, Kennaugh, is a retired Harvard medical professor.

Amadio and Kennaugh said they think that the heist was an inside job and done by a professional who had knowledge of what art was at the home.

"I think the people that stole it, number one, knew what we had, and two, probably had buyers for the artwork before they went to take it," Kennaugh said. "I think chances of getting it back are slim."

Kennaugh also said the artwork was uninsured.

Earlier this month, a collection of 11 Andy Warhol paintings was stolen from a home in West Los Angeles.

The collection included portraits of O.J. Simpson, Muhammad Ali, Pele and Chris Evert.

The owner of the collection had once tried to sell the artwork for $3 million in 2002, but the current exact value is unknown.

The largest known art heist to take place in the U.S. was in Boston during St. Patrick's Day in 1990. A total of 13 pieces, including work by Rembrandt and Degas were stolen from Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

An investigation into the art heist, which was estimated to be valued at $300 million, has included FBI probes into the Irish Republican Army, a Boston mob boss and a notorious art thief.

If anyone has any information about the theft, which may lead to the recovery of all the artwork, they can contact the Monterey County Sheriff's Department or the Law Office of Vicki St. John at 831-250-7232.

This article originally appeared on KSBW.com

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