Five artworks valued at over $400,000 were recovered at a hotel room in Lakewood, Colorado, along with a hoard of guns, electronics, and drugs.
The art was stolen during transport from a locked truck on the evening of December 14. The vehicle’s padlock was cut while those responsible for moving the art were staying at a hotel.
Last Saturday night, the Boulder police department learned the whereabouts of the stolen artwork. With the help of the Lakewood Police department, the team searched the hotel room and arrested 31-year-old Brandon Camacho-Levin as a suspect.
The artwork was recovered still intact, along with other stolen items including nearly 2,000 fentanyl pills and 23 grams of methamphetamine.
Abstract Expressionist artist Elaine de Kooning’s Untitled (Madrid Series #3) and a farm scene painted by Jane Freilicher, Burnett’s Barn, were among the works recovered. They had been expected in Englewood, just south of Denver.
Joseph Henry Sharp’s View of the Taos Pueblo, Eanger Irving Couse’s Taos Pueblo at Night, and Ernest Martin Hennings’s Laguna Pueblo were recently purchased at Bonhams Los Angeles and were en route to Santa Fe.
According to an arrest report, the suspect had offered to sell the artwork for $6,000 to a person who notified police.
“My reaction was fury,” Colleen Fanning, an art adviser to the owners, told Channel 9 News. “We were shocked and appalled and had no idea that something like this could even happen.”
Last July, the suspect was previously arrested for motor vehicle theft, according to a report in Forbes. Camacho-Levin was taken to Rose Medical Center after becoming sick while in custody, but escaped after assaulting an officer.
Camacho-Levin is facing charges of drug distribution and manufacturing, felony theft, first-degree vehicle trespass, and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon.
“Not only did we recover this artwork still intact, but we also took these deadly drugs that plague our community off the street,” police chief Maris Herold remarked in a press release.