Detective

Stolen Painting Recovered After Almost 30 Years

A stolen painting was recovered after it was missing for almost 30 years. 

Judy Karinen bought the painting for $4,000 in 1985 and nicknamed it her "regal Englishman."

The painting was a portrait of William Chester of East Haddon, England. It was painted in the 1600's. The painting had a place of pride in Karinen's Hollywood Hills home until it was stolen in 1991. 

As years passed, so did Karinen's belief she would ever see the painting again. Until late one night this year, she got a call from the LAPD. The painting had been recovered after it was one of 50 stolen paintings found at an auction.  

"I’m so grateful to them. They did work really hard to find this after so long!" said Karinen. "That was a sleepless night but a good one because that’s not the kind of call you usually expect to get. I thought I’d never see it again."

Detective Mel Vergara looked for the painting's original owner by searching through decades of police reports until he found Karenin's 1991 police report. Luckily, it included a picture of the painting. 

"It’s sort of like old fashioned police work," said Vergara. "Just going through the books page by page and this is the result of it." 

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