This past weekend, a group of young thieves visited a group of galleries on New York’s Lower East Side, where they walked away with handbags, credit cards, and more. No art was stolen in the process, however.
According to Artnet News, which first reported on the series of thefts, at least four galleries were targeted: Betty Cuningham, Derosia, Hashimoto Contemporary, and Nicodim.
News of the theft began to circulate on the NADA Noodle, an email forum run by the New Art Dealers Alliance, an influential group for younger galleries.
Those who wrote in said that the thieves appeared to be young and that they had masqueraded as students interested in learning more about the art on view. While they inquired with distracted front-desk workers, they managed to take credit cards and other objects.
Artnet reported that Betty Cuningham Gallery had sent an email to its staff in which it said that one worker’s credit card was stolen and loaded up with thousands of dollars of charges in a matter of less than 20 minutes.
The galleries have reportedly told the police of the thefts, but it’s unclear if the thieves have been arrested. Over the weekend, however, gallerists said the thieves could also be found in Tribeca and Chelsea, which means they could still be on the loose.