How two thieves stole $500 million of art from a Boston museum in 81 minutes

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John Dortmunder and his gang would be fun in this situation.

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Are there really a lot of supervillan billionaires with mega private art collections to make a market for well known stolen artwork?
I mean you really can’t just hang it on the wall when you have a party.

One theory out there is that the guys who stole this artwork were part of local organized crime, and they stole it thinking (as some other art thieves have thought, amazingly enough) they could sell this stuff somewhere. And then got stuck with it when the story blew up worldwide. If this is what happened, hopefully they didn’t destroy the art when they realized they couldn’t make any $ from it, because if they thought they could sell a Vermeer, they may also be the kind of person who would destroy a Vermeer so they don’t go back to prison.

That’s one theory though. The thieves seem to have been selective about what they took, however, which has led some people to think that maybe the theft was commissioned.

BTW, all of the non-animation footage in this video is bogus. The Gardner Museum was someone’s house, and the art was this woman’s personal art collection. Worth seeing, no matter how you feel about Gilded Age types literally buying pieces of old Europe to bring home and decorate with. They’ve left the frames up, in case the art is ever returned:


ETA: I’m pleased that while I was watching the video an ad for diamond rings popped up.


Hint: it was Jasper Johns.

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I would like to correct the record on a few things in this video, particularly concerning Mr Richard Abath, the guard. mr. Abath opened and reshut the door to make sure it was fully closed and lock every night he worked at the same time, the beginning of his shift. There is video of him doing so on other nights, so, no, this behavior is not suspicious at all. Regarding motion detector capturing his footsteps and not the thieves’, there are several explanations. First, another security guard interviewed on the Empty_Frames podcast states the motion detector in that particular room often malfunctioned and did not always capture footsteps. Second, there were ways to evade the motion detector and the guards used to make a game of this. Also, had Mr. Abath removed a painting from the wall, He would have had to stand close to the painting in question for at least a few seconds to remove it, possibly longer, yet this action is not recorded by the motion detection system at all. Also, presumably, were he to go into that room to steal a painting, one would assume he would have evaded the motion detection system, as he clearly states in a CNN transcript he did know how to do that. As far as admitting a visitor the night before as a dry run, that person has been determined to have been larry O’Brien, who worked as an administrator at the museum and often stopped by and was buzzed in at night. Mr. Abath did not recall the event because by the time he was questioned about it, a full 25 years had passed. Also, Mr. Abath did, in fact, have very good recall of what the thieves looked like and was on the record saying the sketch artist that he fully cooperated with did not do a good job. Also, pertaining to this dry run theory, why would professional thieves need to perform a dry run of this nature and actually enter the museum while knowingly being taped? To see how well Mr. Abath could hit the buzzer button? It doesn’t make any sense at all. Additionally, another key event took place within the museum 20 minutes prior to the theft. Alarms mysteriously went off on the 4th floor, creating a very real “disturbance on the premises”, which is the phrase Mr. Abath tells us the thieves used, not disturbance in the courtyard or anywhere else. Mr. Abath did not have access to the 4th floor to trigger those alarms, as it was the private residence of Mr. Rollin Hadley, former Director of the museum, who was permitted to continue living there despite his having been fired from the museum.
I hope this information helps in gaining a better understanding of what happened.

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