A recent theft in Vancouver was not only caught on camera but also involves the work of a famous artist.
A signed print by artist Joe Average was hanging up at PAL Vancouver, a theatre and low-income housing complex for artists in Coal Harbour.
Surveillance cameras captured two people posing with the signed print before removing it from the wall and walking off with it.
“To target a non-profit in the middle of the downtown Vancouver core is pretty devastating for us,” Marina de Pina-Jenkins with PAL Vancouver told Global News.
She said the young couple convinced a resident to buzz them in and then they made their way up to the eighth floor where the theft occurred.
“We saw them fiddling around with the number pad, trying to get in,” Pina-Jenkins added. “And, eventually someone did allow them access to the building.”
The print was returned Friday, a day after the Global News report, but it is unclear if the two people seen in the surveillance video were arrested or turned themselves in.
Average donated the print in 2006 and it is worth thousands of dollars.
He said this is not the first time one of his pieces has been targeted.
“I’ve donated a lot of pieces to St Paul’s and (the) Dr. Peter Centre and they’ve all been stolen,” Average said. “All of them. It’s frustrating. Why do people, first of all, target places like that, like non-profits?”
Read more: ‘Irreplaceable’: Vancouver family desperate to retrieve stolen items left by their late mom, wife
PAL Vancouver is still hoping for the return of the art but Average said he is ready to donate a new piece to them in case it can’t be recovered.
Vancouver police told Global News officers are investigating the theft but no arrests have been made.
Anyone who has any information is asked to contact Vancouver police.
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