SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – In San Francisco, a $20,000 piece of artwork was stolen from a Union Square art gallery.
This happened Sunday afternoon during a special Salvador Dali Show at the Dennis Rae Fine Art Gallery.
The etching was sitting on an easel at the front of the store and the suspect was caught on camera.
A gallery worker says it was a typical Sunday afternoon with about 20 to 30 people coming and going throughout the day.
He says the suspect has likely done this type of crime before.
“I turned my back for a second and when I looked out, a very important piece had been stolen from the front of the gallery,” Rasjad Hopkins, the associate director of the Dennis Rae Fine Art Gallery, said.
Inside the art gallery on Geary Street, a well known $20,000 Salvador Dali etching was stolen off an easel.
The piece was published in 1966 by the Spanish artist and was on display at the front of the gallery during their special show.
The gallery’s surveillance camera wasn’t working but the Handlery Hotel captured the suspect on camera.
“The guy on camera, I had never seen him before. He was in and out of there like a shot. But the piece was right by the front door. The front door was wide open. I guess I turned my back for a second and bam! He was gone,” Hopkins said.
The brazen suspect was wearing a blue shirt and hat and walked very casually out of the gallery, in no hurry.
“He could’ve been taking an order. I’ve seen that happen before. Some of these thieves are specialists. You place an order. They’ll get it for you,” Hopkins said.
This Geary Street gallery is one of three Dennis Rae Fine Art Galleries in San Francisco.
Just a few weeks ago, a statue was stolen from their Fisherman’s Wharf location.
Gallery employees say they’re now more aware and alert.
“Just more cautious. I did lose some sleep over it last night. I thought if I hadn’t turned my back for 30 seconds to move something it probably wouldn’t have happened,” Hopkins said.
The gallery employee doesn’t think they’ll get the piece back but they’re hoping someone will recognize the suspect and he will be caught.