Stolen Rembrandt found in Episcopal priest’s office

UPDATED – see below

The Los Angeles Times reports:

An L.A. County Sheriff’s official confirmed Tuesday that deputies recovered a stolen Rembrandt from the pastor’s office of an Episcopal church in Encino.

The Rembrandt sketch stolen Saturday night from the Ritz-Carlton in Marina del Rey was recovered Monday night from Saint Nicholas Episcopal Church in the 17100 block of Ventura Boulevard, said sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore.

Investigators were still trying to determine how it found its way into the office of Father Mike Cooper and to verify whether it is an authentic Rembrandt. Cooper referred questions to Whitmore.

The sketch titled “The Judgment” was recovered after authorities received a tip Monday evening that someone had seen the artwork on church property.

CBS Los Angeles reports here.

CBS2 talked with Father Michael Cooper at St. Nicholas Episcopal Church, a former deputy, who wouldn’t confirm or deny that investigators had visited the location.

AP updated story at 2:43PM:

The artwork, in its original mounting, was found in an unlocked church building about 20 miles from where it vanished, [detective] Williams said. The detective declined to name the church or to say whether the sketch was found in the sanctuary.

“Right now it looks like it was dumped off,” Williams said.

UPDATE: More news about the theft and discovery here

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  1. tgflux

    Well, this is awkward. O_o

    JC Fisher

  2. Matthew Buterbaugh+

    I totally see a movie scenario where a man is a priest by day and international art thief by night…

    Or yes, just awkward.

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