This is an unusual example of an art theft done in the most brutal way. If art thefts are crimes of opportunity, one supposes the thieves will use whatever means they have at hand. And it is worth noting that the LS Lowry paintings that were stolen have not be recovered:
Casey Richard Miller, 24, tricked his way into the home of Ivan Aird – whose parents were close friends of the painter – after appearing at his front door on the morning of May 3 2007 clad in a fluorescent postal jacket. Miller pushed Mr Aird’s wife, Louise, inside the door as she clutched her two-year-old daughter in her arms, holding a foot-long knife to her face before ordering her to “get down or I’ll kill you”. At one point Mrs Aird tried to shut the raiders out of the door but was forced back inside her home. Mr Aird ran downstairs to help his wife and daughter but was forced to the ground – with his hands bound – as a knife was held to his throat. His wife was left terrified by her ordeal, but was the one witness later able to pick out Miller as one of the gang because her husband was unable to see what was happening. Miller, who was backed by three accomplices, was handed an indefinite sentence of imprisonment for public protection (IPP) at Manchester Crown Court in March after he was convicted of robbery.
Miller and his accomplices escaped with two prized Lowry paintings – The Viaduct, valued at £700,000, and Tanker Entering the Tyne, valued at £500,000. They also took a palette and artists’ implements which belonged to Lowry. None of the works has been recovered.
Art Thief Appeal Fails (Tameside Advertizer)