Thursday, December 18, 2014

Investigators Discover Thousands In Stolen Artwork In Brantley
By Catalina Trivino

It's a high-dollar heist that sounds like it would happen in Paris, London or Rome... but it happened in Crenshaw County.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of stolen art has been discovered in Brantley.



Investigators tell us they've been searching for this artwork for more than two years and law officials say things like this definitely don't happen in Brantley.

This storage unit might look empty now, but that's because investigators have recovered everything in it. It was actually packed with dozens of artwork.

Take a look at this -- all of these pieces of artwork totaled approximately $350,000, all stolen from a Geneva County home July 2010.

"There were some Rembrandt prints, some Picasso prints... several others I can't remember right this minute, but some of them were valued as much as $40,000 and up," Said Crenshaw County Investigator, Mike Johnson.

A total of 72 pieces were recovered, both originals and prints, including pieces by Charles McKinnon, Itzchak Tarkay, Norman Rockwell, Robert Wyland and Peter Max.

The Crenshaw County Sheriff's office and Second Circuit District Attorney's office assisted Geneva County deputies in the execution of a search warrant at Brantley Mini storage to look for all of these pieces.

Investigators say they're looking for a total of $487,000 of stolen property. While all the artwork was found in the storage unit, they're still looking for missing guns and jewelery, including a diamond worth about $50,000.

District Attorney, Charlotte Tesmer, says she couldn't believe it when she heard what was found.

"They don't happen, especially in small towns like Brantley, and even the thought process when we went through it was... is this real? Or is this a hoax or is it counterfeit? Are these paintings or prints counterfeit? But they appeared to be authentic. They had authentication on them when we looked, so it did happen in Brantley, Alabama!" Said Tesmer.

Officers say they're still investigating who's storage unit this belongs to and while they tell us they do have leads, no arrest has been made.

Investigators say they're interviewing people who might know the owner of the storage unit.

CBS 8 News will keep you updated on this mystery.