Thief tunneled into NYC home, stole art

Police are looking for a thief who tunneled through a wall into a New York City apartment while the owner was away and made off with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of artwork by Andy Warhol and other notable artists.

The Lichtenstein artwork ‘Thinking Nude’ image is shown as released by the New York City Police Department

They say the thieves broke through a hallway wall into the Manhattan apartment and stole limited-edition artwork, watches and other jewellery worth a total of about $750,000. A video recorder connected to surveillance cameras also was taken.

The burglars also made off with surveillance tapes that might have caught them in the act.

The stolen items include the Roy Lichtenstein prints “Thinking Nude” and “Moonscape,” the Carl Fudge oil painting “Live Cat,” the Warhol prints “The Truck” and “Superman” and a set of eight signed Warhol prints in various colours called “Camouflage.”

Authorities estimate the five-story apartment was burgled sometime during Thanksgiving week, when owner and art collector Robert Romanoff was away.

Also taken from the building was a Lichtenstein print called “Moonscape,” the Carl Fudge oil painting “Live Cat,” the Warhol prints “The Truck” and “Superman,” and a set of eight signed Warhol prints from 1986 called “Camouflage.” They’re among the artist’s last works before his death the following year.

Authorities estimate the artworks, plus stolen Cartier and Rolex watches and other jewellery, are worth about $750,000.

The Romanoff home is in a neighborhood filled with old warehouses and meatpacking companies now turned into retail and living space, restaurants and boutiques.

POSTSCRIPT:  Chris Marinello, working with NYPD Detective Mark Fishstein, recovered all the artworks from a French dealer working in New York City.  The paintings were sold on behalf of the insurance company in 2011.