South African Thieves Make Off With Art Worth $2 Million
A set of thieves have made off with $2 million worth of art from a public gallery in one of South Africa's three capital cities, Pretoria, AFP have reported.
The robbers entered the city art gallery dressed as visitors, but once in they drew their guns and proceeded to steal a number of paintings by some of South Africa's top artists. Pretorian police are currently on the lookout for the bandits and their getaway vehicle, with units across the country on alert for any vehicle fitting the description of the one spotted outside the gallery. The country's border control are also said to be on alert, should the thieves attempt to cross borders with their loot.
The BBC reports a statement to press from Lt. Colonel Mogale of the Pretorian Police Department, saying that the gunmen paid the entrance fee to the Pretoria Art Museum on Sunday (11 Nov) and then "held up the person who they had just paid and demanded several paintings before they escaped."
Local authorities have also revealed that the thieves had a clear knowledge to which paintings to make off with, with a clear plan already determined before the heist took place rather than a 'smash-and-grab' routine. The thieves were even forced to leave behind a painting, by South African artist Irma Stern, as it was too big to fit in their getaway vehicle, a silver sedan. No arrests have been made as of yet.