Police search for woman seen mailing stolen art to Museum of Modern Art

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Lucy Yang has the story.

The NYPD wants to talk to the woman caught on camera mailing back a pair of stolen photo prints to the Museum of Modern Art.

The woman was seen on surveillance video at a shipping store in Brooklyn.

MoMA PS1 in Long Island City showcases contemporary art. Monday night, it is also home to a bizarre theft and lingering mystery.

On October 30th, the museum reported two photos stolen worth more than $100,000.

Four days later, the pieces were just as mysteriously returned, but to MoMA in NYC. While the museum is no doubt glad to have the artwork back, this baffling case has more questions than answers.

"I would like to know what happened. That's kind of a crazy story," one person said.

Crazy indeed, and now detectives are looking for the woman seen on surveillance video.

Three days after the heist, she is seen on video shipping the artwork to MoMA in Manhattan.

The video is from a FedEx store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

"She has everything packed already. Handed to us. Put label. Paid," said Charlie Bournis, store owner.

"Familiar face?" Eyewitness News asked.

"She's not a familiar face. She was covered up a lot," Bournis said.

The owner says he has a responsibility to ask what is being shipped, but when he was told artwork for a museum, well, no alarm bells there.

He does remember one peculiar request.

"The only thing weird was that she asked if she could write on the box and she wrote, 'Please open immediately.' I said, 'Why?' She just wrote, 'Please open immediately,'" Bournis said.

"I guess they had episode of guilt. Maybe? I hope that's the reason she sent it back," one person said.

"Maybe she couldn't get rid of them. Only thing I can think," another said.

MoMA PS1 had no comment on the theft or the return.

But this case is far from closed, who stole the photos? Who returned them and why?
Police say the woman who mailed the pictures is in her 20s. She wore a dark cap, glasses and a black overcoat at the store.

Related Topics:
arttheftmuseumsMidtownManhattanNew York City
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