Stephen Ellison

Rare Art Stolen From Petaluma Couple's Storage Unit

A Petaluma couple says someone ransacked their storage unit this week and stole $75,000 worth of rare art pieces, and one of the works already was sold at auction.

It started Tuesday when a woman reached out to Christian and Kristina Fogliani trying to find out how to price a painting she bought at auction. Turns out it was one of the Foglianis' rare paintings they thought was locked up in a storage unit with the rest of their art..

Christian Fogliani said he knew he needed to check on his collection after getting that email.

"She got it from a storage unit that she bought in an auction," he said.

Somehow the painting the woman bought had turned up in a storage facility in Emeryville. The owner of that unit failed to pay rent, forcing the auction.

The woman bought the $4,000 painting for only $200, he said.

The couple called Petaluma police and took video of officers investigating the second-story storage unit they've had for two years. The lock wasn't tampered with, they said, and they have no idea how someone would get in.

They found 37 pieces missing.

"I almost fainted," Kristina Fogliani said. "It was seriously ... it makes you sick. You feel violated. It's not about the money; its about the memories."

Christian added: "These are like my first child, so to see them all gone, it was devastating."

The Foglianis want to know that painting ended up in Emeryville and where the rest of their pieces are.

"It's maddening, unbelievable," Kristina said.

Management at the Petaluma Public Storage facility referred questions to the corporate office, and it did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The woman who bought the Foglianis' piece is cooperating with the couple and took it off eBay.

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