Topics: Crime, Arts

Police release images of alleged Lindauer art thieves

updated By Moana Makapelu Lee
  • Auckland

The search for the two Lindauer portraits of the Ngatai-Raure Chief and Chieftainess stolen from Parnell's International Art Centre on Saturday morning continues. Police have released images of a vehicle and two unidentified offenders to the public to help with the search.

Police hope these images of two alleged offenders involved in the Saturday night theft will shed new light on their investigation.

Detective Inspector Scott Beard says, “This afternoon police have released a photo of a white 2016 Holden Commodore SS that was used at the scene of the offenders to get away in as well as two photos of two male offenders at the scene. Those photos have been caught on CCTV image.”

Detective Inspector Scott Beard believes three offenders were involved in the theft, which occurred between 3:30am and 4am.

Detective Inspector Beard says, “A stolen vehicle from Parnell, ute, was driven to the scene. It was backed through the window of the art centre, another vehicle would then arrive and two offenders got out of that. They took the paintings, put them into the white Holden Commodore and then all three offenders left in the white Holden Commodore.”

Police believe the robbery was planned.

“The force of that was used by the vehicle to back through the windows we believe and speaking to the art people at the art centre, that the paintings would have been damaged,” says Detective Inspector Beard.

Detective Inspector Beard says the portraits were the most valuable of the centre with an estimated value of $400,000. But he says the iconic paintings will be difficult to sell or remove from the country.

Detective Inspector Beard says, “If they're damaged and I think the international arts people will be aware and I think it's difficult and we've worked with customs and notified them about our concerns about that.”

If you recognise this vehicle or the alleged offenders in these images, or if you have any information in regards to the whereabouts of these paintings, please contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111