Suspected Art Thieves Smash Fence at Historical American Legion Post #1 In Escape Effort
Unexpected Art Gallery Raising Funds to Repair Damages and Support Affected Artists
Phoenix, AZ, Saturday, August 11, 2018 – Phoenix Police are still searching for a Honda sedan that smashed through the fence at Historical American Legion Post 1, 364 N 7th Avenue, Phoenix. The incident took place in the early morning hours of Sunday, July 22, as police responded to an art theft at Unexpected Art Gallery, across the street from the Legion, at 734 W Polk. The vehicle fled the scene, leaving a large section of the fence laying across 7th Avenue, and a piece of the car’s bumper behind in the Legion Parking Lot. A GoFundMe account has been set up to raise funds needed to repair the fence and reimburse the artists for their work. The GoFundMe link is www.gofundme.com/ArtHeistVictimFund. Any additional funds raised above and beyond costs will be offered as a reward for information leading to identification of the suspects or recovery of the stolen art work.
Police believe the two incidents are related, and the art thieves panicked when they observed the police presence at Unexpected. Damage estimates for the fence exceed $5,000 and around $4,000 worth of artwork was stolen.
Unexpected operates a small community gallery that features local artists. Stolen pieces included the works of Peter Burt, Kaden Gardner, Emmett Graham, Audra McGrew, Martin Mata, TK, and Tim Soulé.
The Unexpected Art Gallery was rented the previous evening by Team Mansion, a party promotion group lead by Ruben Guerrero and Christopher White, known in the promoter industry by his alias, Sailor Sam. Employees of Unexpected discovered the missing art work as the event was ending and alerted the promoter and the police.
Guerrero has been unresponsive to requests for damages and information that may lead to apprehending suspects. Unexpected management has started a GoFundMe effort, at www.gofundme.com/ArtHeistVictimFund, to raise funds to rebuild the fence and reimburse the artists. Returned art will be gratefully received and returned to the respective artist, no questions asked.
Unexpected Art Gallery Director, Julie Jennings, is available for media interviews. For arrangements, contact Kristin Jones by email at Kristin@JonesInnovators.com.