Michael Rosenthal says he was surprised when police called him about a break-in this morning. He says the robbers sawed through the doors of his Valencia street gallery and then turned off the alarm.
The crooks made off with four paintings by artist Terry Hoff. It's estimated they are worth about 50 Thousand dollars.
Rosenthal says the strange thing is that the crooks didn't touch computers or other valuables. "The fact that they took four specific paintings, that they didn't break in and take anything else... I think this is an art heist. done by art professionals."
He e-mailed photos of the paintings to galleries across the U.S. which he says will make it almost impossible for the theives to sell them.
Artist Terry Hoff says the paintings were part of a current show that had been up for less than a week. "Critical exposure now won't happen, people won't be able to see it, they won't be able to link it to past work and so that kind of stops."
Rosenthal says insurance will cover the theft, but it won't bring back the art.