SF Picasso Thief Sentenced in New York

Lawyer says man suffered some sort of "psychotic episode" that led him to steal the artwork on both coasts, as well as expensive wine from a store in Hoboken.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A security camera shows Mark Lugo walking out of the Weinstein Gallery holding the Picasso on July 5, 2011

    A New Jersey man who was arrested after a bi-coastal crime spree  that included the theft of a Picasso drawing from a San Francisco gallery and  other valuable artwork from two Manhattan hotels was sentenced today in New  York state court.

        Mark Lugo, 31, of Hoboken, N.J., stole a Picasso pencil drawing  titled "Tete de Femme" from the Weinstein Gallery near San Francisco's Union  Square on July 5.     Lugo was arrested in Napa the day after the theft and the drawing  was found undamaged.
        Lugo pleaded guilty in San Francisco in October to grand theft  charges and was sentenced the following month, then was released and  extradited to New York to face separate charges there for stealing six pieces  of art from two hotels.
        New York prosecutors said Lugo stole five paintings from the  Chambers Hotel in Midtown Manhattan on June 14, 2011, then stole a sketch  from artist Fernand Leger valued at $350,000 from a gallery connected to the  Carlyle Hotel on the Upper East Side. 
        All six pieces of art were later found hanging on the walls of  Lugo's Hoboken apartment, which was searched after his arrest for the Picasso  theft, prosecutors said.
        He pleaded guilty on Feb. 7 to a charge of second-degree grand  larceny and was sentenced today to one to three years in prison, Manhattan  District Attorney's Office spokeswoman said.
        the spokeswoman said Lugo did not say anything on the record during his  sentencing today.
        Attorney Douglas Horngrad, who represented Lugo in his case in San  Francisco, said after his Nov. 21 sentencing for the Picasso theft that Lugo  suffered some sort of "psychotic episode" that led him to steal the artwork  on both coasts, as well as expensive wine from a store in Hoboken, all within  a 30-day period.
    Bay City News