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Nine Warhols Stolen In Real-Life Heist Movie Caper

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Nine Andy Warhol prints may have been stolen over three years ago, but nobody noticed until this summer since they were replaced with fakes.The silkscreened Warhol prints, each about 3-feet tall, were brazenly stolen from a Los Angeles business with the originals replaced with color copies inside their respective frames. Detectives believe the thief used specialized tools to take down the prints and carefully remove them from their frames. Sounds like the cops are dealing with not just any run-of-the-mill thief but a professional. It's almost fitting for the plot of a heist movie.

When the owner of the work noticed that the prints were sagging, he took two of them to a framing shop specializing in high-end art. The owner of the framing shop noticed the two prints were fakes, with fuzzy printing and lacking signatures and edition numbers. Subsequently, the other seven were determined to be fakes, according to the L.A. Times.

The total haul is valued at $350,000 and features six prints from his 1980 10 Portraits of Jews of the 20th Century series (Louis Brandeis, Martin Buber, George Gershwin, Sarah Bernhardt, Gertude Stein and Sigmund Freud) and three from the 1983 Endangered Species series (Siberian Tiger, Bald Eagle and Bighorn Ram).

While it is unknown when the prints were stolen, the LAPD has looked into a Bonham auction from 2011 where a Bald Eagle print of the same serial number (96/150) was sold for $37,500.

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Though the name of the business where the prints hung was not named, court documents say the owners used the building for movie editing.