How to Steal a Precious Salvador Dali Painting in Two Easy Steps

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New York Police Department / Associated Press

This 1949 Salvador Dali painting, Cartel de Don Juan Tenorio, worth $150,000, was stolen this week.

Step 1: Take Painting.

Step 2: Walk Away.

Sometimes it’s best to keep things simple. That’s what one man did when he swiped a Salvador Dalì painting worth $150,000 on Tuesday from a New York City art gallery.

The art thief reportedly asked the security guard if he could take a photo of the painting. When the guard looked away, he removed the artwork from the wall and dropped it into a large black shopping bag. Then he took the elevator down from the third floor and walked out onto East 77th Street, The New York Daily News reports.

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New York Police Department / Associated Press

The thief, whose image was captured on a security camera, is a small man with a receding hairline who was wearing a black-and-white-checkered shirt and dark jeans. He has been described as 35 to 45 years old, and between 5’7” and 5’9” in height.

The work stolen was Cartel de Don Juan Tenorio, a 1949 watercolor-and-ink. It was on display at the brand-new Venus Over Manhattan Art Gallery, owned by radio-station mogul and New York Observer columnist Adam Lindemann.

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The Dalì theft is the highest-profile of several shoplifting-style swipes of precious artwork in New York in the past year. Perhaps velvet ropes and disinterested security guards are not the best tools to protect one-of-a-kind items worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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