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Famous Joe Average print returned after being stolen from Vancouver building

Click to play video: 'Joe Average art theft caught on video'
Joe Average art theft caught on video
The latest theft to be caught on camera involves the work of a famous Vancouver artist and a non-profit. The brazen break-in has left residents of a Coal Harbour co-op shaken - and Joe Average offering to help. Julie Nolin explains – Jan 19, 2023

A stolen Joe Average art piece has been reunited with its rightful owners at a non-profit in Downtown Vancouver, and coverage from Global News is getting credit for its return.

Two thieves made their way into PAL Vancouver, a theatre and low-income housing complex for artists in Coal Harbour, on Jan. 12.

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The pair spotted a valuable signed print by local artist Joe Average, and surveillance footage shows them posing with the print before taking it and leaving.

According to PAL Vancouver, the couple convinced a resident to buzz them in before making their way up to the eighth floor where the theft occurred.

Click to play video: 'Joe Average art theft caught on video'
Joe Average art theft caught on video

However, after mounting pressure following a Global B.C. news story along with social media coverage, the woman spotted in the video contacted PAL Vancouver and the print was returned a day after the story aired.

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“Saying she was a part of it, that they would be bringing the artwork back,” said PAL Vancouver Executive Director Lynn Ross said of the woman’s remarks.

“Ten minutes later the male involved in the theft came by the PAL building and (returned) the artwork. Now it’s back,” she said.

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The print was donated by the artist in 2006.

While Average had pledged to create a new piece for the non-profit if this one wasn’t returned, employees at the organization have said he is as thrilled as they are that it is back.

“Everyone is just so happy that it’s back home,” said Ross. “Something was taken from their home and just to have it back means everything to the residents.”

Vancouver police continue to investigate, but no arrests have been made in the case.

– with files from Global’s Catherine Garrett

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