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B.C. artist in disbelief after 46 paintings, hundreds of custom ties stolen

One of the paintings that Gabriele Beyer says was stolen from her home in Osoyoos, B.C., in early November. Gabriele Beyer

Three weeks after her home was broken into, a B.C. artist is still reeling after scores of her paintings, and her financial livelihood, were stolen.

Gabriele Beyer of Osoyoos says she wasn’t home when her residence was apparently targeted on the night of Nov. 10, with the crime being noticed the next day.

In all, Beyer said 46 paintings, two framed photographs, a driftwood sculpture of a whale and several hundred handpainted ties and bowties were stolen.

Read more: Toronto police seeking information after $265K worth of art stolen from Yorkville gallery

Beyer says her handpainted silk ties and bowties are her financial lifeline, which allow her the freedom to paint. She says each tie or bowtie takes hours from concept to finished product.

All told, she said 600 sample ties were stolen plus more than 200 ready-to-sell ties and more than 200 ready-to-sell bowties.

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“That’s how I make my living,” Beyer told Global News. “With the boxes (of ties) and the 46 paintings, it’s quite a big load they carried out.”

A photo showing some of the hand-painted ties created by Gabriele Beyer. Gabriele Beyer

Asked if she thinks the art heist was random or intentional, Beyer said she didn’t know, but had read recent reports of other art thefts in Western Canada.

“I think it wasn’t random,” said Beyer, who said she had 75 paintings on the wall, but that only her best pieces were pilfered. “So somebody had a really good understanding of art, and knew what they took.

“I don’t believe that it was random. I’ve talked to a lot of people and one comment was that it looked like a contracted theft. But I can’t speculate about who that could have been. I have absolutely no idea.”

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On Wednesday, Osoyoos RCMP issued a press release on the theft, and asked for public help in hopefully recovering the stolen items.

“This original artwork is of great sentimental value to the artist,” said Sgt. Jason Bayda. “It is not unusual for stolen art to travel a great distance to be sold across country or internationally.”

In the meantime, Beyer is hoping someone will spot her art, or ties, and notify police.

“I’m 53 and I feel where I’m most limited is time,” said Beyer, adding art is time intensive and every artist only has so many masterpieces in them. “And not every piece you create is a masterpiece.”

Gabriele Beyer
Gabriele Beyer. Gabriele Beyer
Gabriele Beyer. Gabriele Beyer
Gabriele Beyer. Gabriele Beyer
Gabriele Beyer
Gabriele Beyer. Gabriele Beyer
Gabriele Beyer
Gabriele Beyer. Gabriele Beyer

Beyer says her best piece is a painting of two cowboy boots, with spurs, which she titled Boots with Soul.

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“That’s one of my really good paintings. Yes, I’m going to paint more — I have no choice. Other people lose everything and I’ve lost everything, so I have to do it over again.

“You get pushed down, you have to get up and move on.”

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Beyer said it’s important she get the word out about her stolen paintings and ties in hopes that some are recovered.

She also said her home being burgled should be a warning to other artists.

“I was totally taken by surprise. I never expected anything like this,” she said. “I think other artists need to be aware of the possibility that somebody’s out there, watching them and maybe wanting to steal their art.”

If you have any information about this theft or that can lead to the recovery of this artwork, you are asked to contact the Osoyoos RCMP at 250-495-7236 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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The stolen items can be viewed online.

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