Man charged with taking Dali work from NYC gallery - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Man charged with taking Dali work from NYC gallery

Posted: Updated:

TOM HAYS, Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — A Greek man proved inept at the art of thievery by swiping a Salvador Dali painting from a New York City gallery as security cameras rolled and, in a panic, later trying to send it back anonymously, authorities said Tuesday.

Phivos Istavrioglou also left fingerprints that helped detectives track him down — another misstep in a botched fine art caper that even he found foolish, according to an account of a confession contained in court papers.

The second Istavrioglou walked out of the Manhattan gallery last summer with the Dali watercolor and onto Fifth Avenue, he "was scared and couldn't believe what a stupid thing he did," the papers say.

Istavrioglou, 29, of Athens, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to grand larceny during a brief court appearance in Manhattan at which a judge set bail at $100,000. His attorney had no immediate comment.

Prosecutors accused Istavrioglou of stealing "Cartel de Don Juan Tenorio" in broad daylight while visiting New York in June. After pulling it off the wall at the Upper East Side gallery, he stashed it in a shopping bag and flew with it back to Athens, authorities said.

"It was almost surreal how this theft was committed — a thief is accused of putting a valuable Salvador Dali drawing into a shopping bag in the middle of the afternoon, in full view of surveillance cameras," District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said.

Shortly after learning authorities had distributed security photos of him that were seen around the world, Istavrioglou took the $150,000 work out of its frame. He then rolled it up in a cardboard tube — "in a manner befitting a college dorm poster" — and mailed it back to New York without a return address, prosecutor Jordan Arnold said.

New York Police Department detectives lifted fingerprints from the shipment that matched one from a juice bottle that they say Istavrioglou shoplifted last year from a Whole Foods market, giving them a name, police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said. An investigator posing as an art gallery owner later tricked Istavrioglou into returning to New York by offering him a possible position as a consultant.

Federal agents intercepted Istavrioglou at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Saturday. While speaking to detectives that afternoon, court papers say, he "indicated he knew the theft would catch up to him and wants to make (the) situation right."

 

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

  • Manhattan NewsManhattan NewsMore>>

  • Pregnant woman says officer put her in choke hold

    Pregnant woman says officer put her in choke hold

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 11:04 AM EDT2014-07-29 15:04:28 GMT
    A Brooklyn woman who is seven months pregnant released photos that she said show an NYPD officer putting her in a choke hold as she was being arrested for grilling on the sidewalk outside her home.  Rosean Miller was arrested for disorderly conduct on Saturday and her husband Moses was arrested for obstructing government business, a criminal charge. It's the latest in a string of reported choke holds by police officers. The move is not allowed under NYPD policy. 
    A Brooklyn woman who is seven months pregnant released photos that she said show an NYPD officer putting her in a choke hold as she was being arrested for grilling on the sidewalk outside her home.  Rosean Miller was arrested for disorderly conduct on Saturday and her husband Moses was arrested for obstructing government business, a criminal charge. It's the latest in a string of reported choke holds by police officers. The move is not allowed under NYPD policy. 
  • The Big Idea

    Making New York City more energy efficient

    Making New York City more energy efficient

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 9:22 AM EDT2014-07-29 13:22:47 GMT
    More than half the population of New York City rides public transportation to work. No other metropolis in this country even approaches that percentage or the MTA's total number of riders. For that reason, New York likely ranks as the most energy-efficient city in the nation. But what would it take to make the city even more energy-efficient or even self-sufficient?
    More than half the population of New York City rides public transportation to work. No other metropolis in this country even approaches that percentage or the MTA's total number of riders. For that reason, New York likely ranks as the most energy-efficient city in the nation. But what would it take to make the city even more energy-efficient or even self-sufficient?
  • 2 U.S. marshals, 1 NYPD detective wounded; fugitive killed in Manhattan

    2 U.S. marshals, 1 NYPD detective wounded; fugitive killed in Manhattan

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 8:27 AM EDT2014-07-29 12:27:36 GMT
    Two deputy U.S. marshals and an NYPD detective are expected to recover after they were seriously wounded in a shootout with a fugitive sexual assault suspect in the West Village in Manhattan, officials said. The shootout happened in smoke shop called Smoking Culture on West 4th Street near Jones Street.


    Two deputy U.S. marshals and an NYPD detective are expected to recover after they were seriously wounded in a shootout with a fugitive sexual assault suspect in the West Village in Manhattan, officials said. The shootout happened in smoke shop called Smoking Culture on West 4th Street near Jones Street.

Powered by WorldNow

KDFW FOX 4
400 N. Griffin Street
Dallas, Texas 75202

Main Station Directory:
(214) 720-4444
News Fax:
(214) 720-3263 or (214) 720-3333

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices