Pebble Beach art heist ransom note found
Date: 4 Oct 2009 | | Views: 2593
The owners of artwork valued in the multiple millions and stolen from a Pebble Beach home have found a ransom note, the Monterey County Sheriff's Office confirmed.
Cmdr. Mike Richards said A. Benjamin Amadio and Dr. Ralph Kennaugh discovered the note Tuesday in a hidden area within the residence and turned it in to police.
The two men have offered a $1 million reward for the return of the paintings undamaged and $5 million for the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator or perpetrators.
The men are missing 13 pieces by artists including Jackson Pollock, G.H. Rothe, Rembrandt and Miro.
"There's a ransom note — we have it," Richards said Wednesday. "It demands money and [includes] death threats for the family."
He said information about the ransom note was not meant for public knowledge and was leaked to the media by the owners.
"It compromises the integrity of our investigation," Richards said.
Deputies have said investigators were called Friday evening to the home on Sunridge Road.
The theft probably occurred between 1 p.m. and 6:48 p.m. that day, they have said. Besides the artwork, the Sheriff's Office said, a computer and $3,100 in cash were stolen. A bedroom window was found broken after the discovery of the heist.
Besides the Sheriff's Office, two other agencies are running investigations on the stolen art. The law office of Vicki St. John, representing the owners, has said private investigators have been hired to look into the case. The insurance company that insured some of the stolen pieces is also running its own probe.
The stolen pieces include one by Jackson Pollock, three by G.H. Rothe, one by Matisse, four by Miro, two by Rembrandt, a Renoir and a van Gogh.
It's unclear how much the Pollock piece is worth, the law firm has said, but it's estimated to range between $20 million and $60 million. The other art pieces are collectively estimated at $7 million in value.
The stolen pieces, collected over the past decade, were propped in the hallways of the rented home and were among more than 100 pieces of art at the residence. The men were renting the home while waiting for construction to finish at their new residence.
Amadio and Kennaugh met 10 years ago at a venture capitalist meeting in Ohio. Kennaugh, a former Harvard medical professor and doctor of oncology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Massachusetts, had lived in Boston until three months ago.
To report information about Friday's multimillion dollar art theft in Pebble Beach, call Monterey County Sheriff's Detective Mark Stevens at 831-647-7690 or the law office of Vicki St. John at 831-250-7232. Callers may remain anonymous.