$35,000 in paintings stolen from Pacific Palisades artist

Sue Pascoe

Daily Press Special

The victim of a recent painting theft wonders if you’ve seen his work.

“I want my babies back,” artist Katie O’Neill said after 11 paintings worth around $35,000 were stolen from her art studio in Antioch on Saturday October 8.

At around 10:30 p.m., a Gelson employee saw a man described as black and about 6 feet tall, use a crowbar on the window, so he could open the door and gain access to the studio.

The employee shouted, but the man was threatening the employee and he backed off. Another person drove by and asked the man what he was doing and he allegedly said ‘A burglar robbed my store’ and that he was taking care of it.

The thief then entered and removed 11 paintings. At around 12:30 p.m., a friend of O’Neill’s who was passing by the store called her to say that someone had broken into the store.

The police were called and after they left around 2am, O’Neill found herself alone, trying to find a company to close the broken window to protect the rest of her paintings.

O’Neill wrote: “People who have purchased my paintings have purchased them with love – to put them in their homes and bring them into their lives. It’s so important to me. And the thought that 11 of my paintings are lost. It’s so personal. I can’t even type this without crying. Why would anyone do that?

She went to different retail businesses in Antioch to check surveillance cameras to see if she could find an image of the car with a license plate. She also called the police to see if any detectives could come out and possibly find fingerprints.

Captain Jonathon Tom contacted detectives in West LA and asked for their help.

“Community support helps me not get depressed,” she said and noted that she would appreciate some detective help from the community. The stolen paintings are on his site https://www.oneillsfineart.com/collections/182561.

If everyone in the community keeps tabs on social media sites where items are bought and sold – and if everyone keeps tabs on local flea markets and along areas such as the Venice boardwalk, O’Neill hopes someone can spot a painting.

She just wants her paintings back. “I’ve spent hours and hours of my life painting Paris,” O’Neill said. “It wasn’t quite done. I had put it aside and planned to come back to it.

This painting and another “Towards High Point” had not yet been signed.

O’Neill had no theft insurance because she had no security system. That may change now.

Originally published by Circling the News

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