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Multimillion dollar collection of Warhol paintings stolen from LA home

This image provided by the Los Angeles Police Department on Friday Sept. 11, 2009 shows a reward poster issued for stolen works of art by Andy Warhol in Los Angeles. Police said a multi-million-dollar collection of Andy Warhol paintings has been stolen from a private home in West Los Angeles. The LAPD said Friday that 10 paintings, each 40 inches square, were taken from the home of businessman Richard Weisman. (AP Photo/LAPD)
AP | LAPD

LOS ANGELES – A multimillion dollar collection of Andy Warhol artwork depicting famous sporting figures was stolen from a West Los Angeles home, police said Friday.

The 10 pictures, each 40 inches by 40 inches (100 centimeters by 100 centimeters), were taken from businessman Richard Weisman’s home sometime between Sept. 2 and 3, said Detective Mark Sommer of the Los Angeles Police Department’s art theft detail. A $1 million reward was being offered for information leading to the return of the artwork.

The pop art paintings were on display in Weisman’s living room and his house was locked up. It wasn’t clear exactly when the silk screen paintings were taken or how the thieves got into the home.



The theft was discovered by the family’s longtime nanny who arrived at the home to find the large paintings missing from the walls. She immediately went to a neighbor’s to call police, Sommer said.

“This was a very clean crime,” Sommer said. “(The home) wasn’t ransacked.”



The stolen pictures include images of O.J. Simpson, Muhammad Ali, soccer star Pele and tennis champion Chris Evert. It wasn’t known exactly how much they were worth but Weisman tried to sell the collection in 2002 for $3 million.

Weisman’s home contained other valuable artwork but this was untouched.

“For some reason they had an interest in this collection,” Sommer said.



A neighbor saw a maroon van in the driveway of Weisman’s home around the time of the robbery, and police are seeking more information about that, Sommer said.

Weisman declined to comment about details of the case when reached by The Associated Press on Friday.


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