General
Marion Maneker0February 20, 2013

Venus Over Manhattan Thief Apprehended in Sting

It’s a small crime but big news when someone steals from a Manhattan art gallery. Big enough news for the Manhattan DA to make a pronouncement in the New York Times when the suspect is apprehended and big enough for the police to run an international sting operation to nail him. Phivos Istavrioglou was the clever wag who sauntered into Venus Over Manhattan and walked out with a Dalí work on paper before mailing it back:

Officials said they had Mr. Istavrioglou’s fingerprint from an arrest in January 2012, in which they said he stole food and drinks from a Whole Foods market in Lower Manhattan. In their investigation into the art theft, they found that Mr. Istavrioglou had searched the Internet for reports about the robbery after it took place but before the story became news. […]

After the police identified Mr. Istavrioglou as a suspect, an undercover New York police detective posing as an art gallery manager was able to lure him to New York from Europe with the offer of a job, the authorities said. He was arrested by Homeland Security agents at Kennedy Airport on Saturday.

Lured From Europe, Man Is Held in 2012 Theft of a Dalí Drawing (NY Times)