FBI Reveals Major Art Heist's Philly Connection - KMSP-TV

FBI Reveals Major Art Heist's Philly Connection

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It was the biggest art heist in U.S. history, and now we're learning it has Philadelphia ties.

Police say they know who is responsible for stealing almost $600 million worth of art from Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. But they are not identifying those crooks because the statute of limitations has expired.

It happened 23 years ago, in 1990. Two men reportedly dressed up as police officers and claimed they were investigating a disturbance at the museum.

The FBI thinks the thieves sold that art right here in Philadelphia.

"For the first time, we could say with a high degree of confidence, we've determined that in the year since the theft, the art was transported to Connecticut and to the Philadelphia area," FBI Special Agent Richard DesLauriers said.

The 13 pieces of art included works from Rembrandt and Vermeer. The FBI still doesn't know where the missing art is.

The agency has followed leads all over the world.

The museum is offering a $5-million reward for information that leads to the recovery of the missing pieces.

The FBI stressed that anyone with information about the artwork may contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL FBI (1-800-225-5324) or the museum directly or through a third party. Tips may also be submitted online at https://tips.fbi.gov.

The publicity campaign announced Monday includes a dedicated FBI website on the Gardner Museum theft, video postings on FBI social media sites, publicity on digital billboards in Philadelphia region, and a podcast. To view and listen to these items, link to the FBI's new website about the theft: www.FBI.gov/gardner.

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