Vermeer's The Concert

Vermeer's The Concert

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Stolen Art Watch, Whitey Bulger Reward Paid, Gardner Art Reward Remains Unclaimed

FBI pays reward in capture of accused mobster 'Whitey' Bulger

The FBI confirmed Friday that it has paid a $2.1-million reward to the informers who helped end the 16-year manhunt for fugitive crime boss James "Whitey" Bulger and his companion, captured in June in Santa Monica.

But the identities of those who led the agency to the Santa Monica apartment where Bulger and Catherine Greig were arrested June 22 remain a mystery, according to news reports.

On Friday evening, the Boston Herald reported this statement from the FBI's Boston division:

"On Monday, Sept. 19, 2011, the Boston Division of the FBI received final authorization from the United States Department of Justice to pay the $2.1 million reward to those responsible for providing information which directly led to the arrest of former Top Ten Fugitive James 'Whitey' Bulger and his companion Catherine Greig. This information was generated as a direct result of the FBI’s Public Service Announcement (PSA) campaign, which was initiated on June 20, 2011.

"The FBI offered $2 million for information leading to the arrest of Mr. Bulger, and $100,000 for information leading to the arrest of Ms. Greig. As of Friday, Sept. 23, 2011, the FBI has paid this reward money to more than one individual.

"To protect the anonymity and privacy of those responsible for providing information which directly led to the arrests of Mr. Bulger and Ms. Greig, the FBI will not comment further regarding this matter."

Bulger, 82, was on the FBI's 10-most-wanted list in connection with 19 homicides and other crimes in Boston. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Greig, 60, has also pleaded not guilty in the case.

A Las Vegas man, Keith Messina, 45, said he tried to collect the reward because he spotted Bulger in Santa Monica in 2008 and called the television show "America's Most Wanted," according to news reports.

The FBI denied his claim and told his lawyer that the money was given to a tipster in Iceland, reports said.

Messina reportedly plans to file a lawsuit, seeking a share of the reward money.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Stolen Art Watch, Gardner Art Heist, Operation Haystack

Reports eminating from Germany that some Gardner art may have been seen.

Could be part of Operation Haystack ??
More to follow.............

Friday, September 02, 2011

Stolen Art Watch, Myles Connor, The Final Straw !!

Infamous art thief charged with stealing hay from farm

Police chased and arrested a notorious art thief Wednesday night after they say officers caught him stealing bales of hay from Twin Elm Farm on Bates Street.
Myles J. Connor, 68, of 21 Residential Lane, Blackstone - a self-proclaimed master art thief - was arrested at 11:44 p.m. and charged with trespassing, larceny from a building and larceny under $250, Detective David Kurczy said.
Connor was released without bail and is scheduled to appear in Milford District Court on Oct. 13.
Since Connor has had more than three charges on his record, he was also charged with being a common and notorious thief, Kurczy said.
Police say Connor was arrested shortly after they saw him trying to make off with the hay.
A few weeks ago, an employee at the cattle farm told police that hay bales had been sporadically disappearing from the farm overnight. The hay was valued at more than $1,000, so police started keeping an eye on the property.
On Wednesday, Connor threw the bales over a fence, then jumped the fence and ran from police, Kurczy said.
"He ran for the woods, but police got him pretty quick. He didn't get very far," Kurczy said.
Connor was charged with larceny because he had four bales of hay in his possession Wednesday night, police said.
Connor told police he forgot to leave money for the hay.
Police said they think Connor was planning to use a car, which was parked nearby, to drive back and pick up the bales he threw over the fence, Kurczy said.
Connor may have planned to use the hay for horses he owns, Kurczy said.
Twin Elm Farm's owner, Linda Varney, could not be reached for comment.
For decades, Connor has made crime headlines, some merely alleged, others for which he was convicted, and still others to which he has admitted.
In 2009, Connor, the son of a Milton police officer, released a book called "The Art of the Heist: Confessions of a Master Art Thief, Rock-and-Roller, and Prodigal Son," a memoir outlining the story of his career as a cat burglar, thief, con man and museum heister.
In 1966, Connor was arrested after a rooftop shootout in Boston. A state police captain was shot in the exchange, and Connor suffered four gunshot wounds.
In 1973, the Woolworth family compound in Monmouth, Maine, was robbed of dozens of paintings. A year later, Connor was arrested after he led undercover FBI agents to the paintings.
In 1975, two 18-year-old girls were stabbed to death after they witnessed fugitives shooting two men. One of the murderers, Thomas Sperrazza, later said Connor arranged the murder.
Connor was found guilty in 1981, but his conviction was overturned in 1984.
In 1978, Connor was accused of stealing Rembrandt's "Portrait of a Girl, Wearing a Gold-trimmed Cloak," from Boston's Museum of Fine Arts. He never admitted to the crime but brokered the painting's return in exchange for avoiding prison time for the Woolworth art theft in Maine.
In 1990, he was convicted in federal court of stealing several paintings from the Mead Museum at Amherst College in 1975. He served 10 years in prison.
While in custody in 1990, two men stole an estimated $300 million worth of paintings from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. The FBI suspected Connor was the mastermind, but he was never charged.
Connor offered to help get the items returned in exchange for the reward and his release from prison. Authorities refused, and the paintings have yet to be recovered.

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