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Stolen Property

ENTERTAINMENT
February 15, 2008 | From the Associated Press
An $8-million painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat has been located in a Manhattan warehouse after apparently being smuggled out of Brazil, federal prosecutors said. Prosecutors filed papers Wednesday seeking to seize the 1982 painting, called "Hannibal," in an effort to help Brazilian authorities claim it. U.S. authorities said they found the painting in an Upper East Side warehouse in November. It wasn't clear who brought it into the U.S., but prosecutors said it arrived via John F. Kennedy International Airport.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 31, 2008 | Jason Felch, Times Staff Writer
White-haired and missing several teeth, a 79-year-old retired steel salesman sat barefoot in a stained undershirt at his modest Cerritos home Wednesday, trying to explain how he had ended up at the center of a major federal smuggling investigation. It all started when Robert Olson took a trip in the 1970s to Thailand, where he said he picked up an ancient bronze ring and was required to buy it after it broke in his hand.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 29, 2008 | Jason Felch and Mike Boehm, Times Staff Writers
A federal investigation into looted Asian antiquities at Southland museums has broadened to include a prominent Chicago industrialist and art collector who purchased hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of allegedly stolen artifacts from a Cerritos arts dealer. On Thursday, the same day federal agents raided four Southern California museums suspected of displaying stolen art, authorities also searched the private museum of Barry MacLean, a trustee of the prestigious Art Institute of Chicago.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 26, 2008 | Mike Boehm, Times Staff Writer
For 15 years, the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana has been trying to draw attention to itself and prove that a modest Orange County institution can compete in the major leagues of the exhibition world. Some of the big names of world culture have found their way into its galleries, including fragments from the Dead Sea Scrolls and an array of ancient Egyptian mummies that have helped draw 150,000 paying visitors over the last 12 months.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 25, 2008 | Paloma Esquivel, David Reyes and Robert J. Lopez, Times Staff Writers
Just after dawn broke in Southern California, teams of federal agents began serving search warrants on what might seem unlikely targets for criminal investigation: four local art museums. "One of the agents said this was a raid of some kind, and I told myself, 'Hey, my God, this is the Bowers, one of the most respectable places,' " said a Bowers Museum landscape supervisor, who did not want to give his name.
NATIONAL
January 19, 2008 | Miguel Bustillo, Times Staff Writer
A Texas mayor who admitted stealing her neighbor's Shih Tzu was indicted Friday on felony charges -- a serious turn in a canine custody drama that has become the butt of jokes in the Lone Star State. Grace Saenz-Lopez, the mayor of Alice, was indicted on charges of concealing and falsifying evidence by a Jim Wells County grand jury. Each count is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. The mayor filed a report with police Jan.
NATIONAL
December 31, 2007 | From Associated Press
The crime scene -- a once-wooded landscape marked by tire tracks and tree stumps -- makes the victim, Verna Potter, feel physically violated. "It's just like someone cut your heart out," says the 77-year-old Potter, who lost an estimated $50,000 worth of generations-old oak trees. They were taken from her property and sold without permission while she was away. Rogue loggers have long preyed on private properties from coast to coast, taking advantage of the elderly and the absent.
NATIONAL
December 29, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
Thieves stole laptop computers containing the names and Social Security numbers of every registered voter in Nashville from the election commission offices over the Christmas holiday, authorities said. The computers also contain voters' addresses and phone numbers, Election Commissioner Ray Barrett said.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 28, 2007 | From Bloomberg News
Egypt has formed a committee to recover stolen antiques from its 5,000-year-old civilization that are sold at auctions and found in museums around the world. The committee will coordinate with museums and auction houses and empower the country's diplomats to retrieve objects identified as stolen, the Cairo-based Supreme Council of Antiquities said.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 28, 2007 | Jason Felch, Times Staff Writer
A Greek criminal court on Tuesday dismissed charges against former J. Paul Getty Museum antiquities curator Marion True for her role in the purchase of an illegally excavated golden funerary wreath. In an Athens hearing that lasted less than 15 minutes, a three-judge panel agreed with True's attorney that the statute of limitations had expired for the alleged crime. True was not at the proceedings.
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