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Monday, September 22, 2008

Stolen Art Watch, Lowry Theft, Miller Remanded, Casey Not Max !!

A man has denied stealing Lowry paintings worth more than £1m from the home of a collector.

Casey Miller, 23, of Constable Walk, Denton, Manchester, pleaded not guilty to robbery when he appeared at Manchester Crown Court.

Five artworks were allegedly taken, together with Lowry's palette and brushes, from the home of Ivan Aird in Cheadle Hulme, Stockport, in May 2007.

Mr Miller was remanded into custody and will go on trial on 16 February.

Among the paintings stolen were The Viaduct, valued at more than £700,000, and The Tanker Entering the Tyne, worth up to £600,000.

LS Lowry, born in 1887, is famous for painting scenes of life in industrial northern England.

Art Hostage comments:

Now, there's a funny thing.

Max Miller was from Brighton, unlike young incarcerated Casey.

It is to Brighton if these Lowry paintings are to be returned, why ?

Well, in the good old days when a high value stolen artwork "Had" to go back, Sussex Police Antiques Squad would put the word out that the said stolen artwork could be handed back and the person handing back the stolen artwork would get a comfort letter to hand to the insurers so a reward could be paid, on the quiet of course.

Stolen art from all over the country ended up in Brighton and items that become "Too hot to handle" were handed back and rewards were collected.

This kept everyone happy, Sussex Police Antiques Squad, because they could solve most art crime by recovery of the stolen art, sometimes the odd drug addict burglar would be thrown to the Wolves, looked after in jail and given a few thousand upon release, the Brighton antiques mafia could get on with their everyday dealing in stolen art and antiques and the Sussex Police Art and antiques squad became the most successful Police Squad in Britain.

Now, with the so-called new system, no stolen art is ever handed back, only the odd sting operation now and again, intelligence gathering on crime is down 90% and like the money markets there is an information crunch.

Yes we may see the very big cases solved, as resources are utilised because of political pressure, but the tidal wave of everyday art and antiques theft goes on unabated.

If the Brighton model circa 1965-1998 were to be implemented in this case the Lowry paintings would surface quicker than you could say: "show me the money"

Upon another note, the £70,000 reward offer may not be enough to tempt those who may be able to help in this case, especially as the payout by insurers has been advertised as £1.5 million.

Now, any fool knows assistance in recovery of, say a debt, is 30-40%, so 10% would be regarded as a bare minimum, that would be £150,000 in the Lowry case, with 30% being £450,000 and 40% being £600,000.

Worth considering don't you think ???

However, authorities are pining their hopes on Casey Miller getting found guilty and receiving 10 years jail, and another 10 years added if the Lowry paintings don't get returned, jailed for total 20 years.

That's OK if Casey Miller has control of the said Lowry paintings, not just the token gestures.

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