Suspect arrested for failed Monet theft previously stole two Van Goghs
One of two suspects wanted for a failed attempt to steal a Monet painting from the Zaans Museum on August 15, turned himself in to the police on Tuesday evening. The suspect is Henk B., who also stole two Van Gogh paintings in Amsterdam in 2002, the Telegraaf reports based on information from various sources in the "criminal circuit".
On August 15, two men ran out of the Zaans Museum with the painting "Voorzaan and Westerhem" by Claude Monet. Bystanders were able to stop the robbery, despite one of the robbers firing a gun. The painting was left behind, but the robbers escaped.
The Noord-Holland police confirmed that a 49-year-old man from Amsterdam turned himself in for the attempted theft and that he was arrested. The police would not confirm his identity to the newspaper, but art detective Arthur Brand also said it was Henk B.
In 2002, Henk B. and Okkie Durham stole two paintings by Vincent van Gogh from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. They smashed a window on the first floor and pulled the two paintings from the wall. They were caught after Durham's DNA was found on a cap left behind at the crime scene, according to the newspaper.
The paintings were later found with Italian mafia member Raffaele Imperiale when he was arrested in Dubai and were brought back to Amsterdam. The two art thieves were sentenced to 3.5 years in prison and had to pay damages of 350 thousand euros each.
According to art detective Arthur Brand, there have been rumors for some time that B. was involved in the failed robbery at the Zaans Museum. "He's not a bad man, but he is an addict and that sometimes does strange things to people," Brand said to the newspaper. "Recently, there was again a request from serious organized crime to steal art, so that it can be used as a means of exchange for lower punishments. I suspect that Henk B. tried to steal the work for this reason."