WATCH: Suspect Steals Rare Etching Worth $20K from Art Gallery

A suspect allegedly stole an etching by Spanish artist Salvador Dali worth $20,000 from a San Francisco, California, art gallery on Sunday.

Surveillance footage of the alleged theft shows a man wearing a blue T-shirt and baseball cap as he walks into the gallery and emerges 32 seconds later with the artwork in hand.

The video also shows a woman who was reportedly with the suspect as she waits outside, then follows him down the sidewalk as they leave the scene.

“They just popped into the gallery, probably distracting one of my coworkers,” said Gallery Director of Dennis Rae Fine Art, Angela Kellett.

“It was our showcase item,” she explained. “We have a special Salvador Dali show right now and yeah they just ran off with it, too quick for anyone to do anything about it.”

Rasjad Hopkins, a gallery employee who was working alone the day the incident occurred, told CBS SF BayArea that he turned away from the easel for a moment and when he turned back around, the piece was gone.

The artwork was supposed to be locked to the easel itself, but somehow the suspect was able to remove it and exit the gallery.

“He just grabbed it and walked off,” Kellett recalled. “We don’t know where the secure device is.”

The piece, titled “The Burning Giraffe,” was published by Dali in 1966 and is part of a larger collection of the artist’s work at the gallery located off of Union Square.

“It’s quite important as far as the period of etchings. It’s very, very well known. It’s a beautiful piece. It was inspired by Picasso first,” Kellett noted.

A few weeks prior to the theft, a statue was taken from the gallery’s second location at Fisherman’s Wharf, according to KRON.

Kellett said she is saddened by the most recent incident because she wants the gallery to continue its open-door policy so everyone can enjoy the artwork.

“We want everyone to feel welcome,” she concluded.

Police have asked anyone with information regarding the etching’s whereabouts to call the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) at 1-415-575-4444 or Text a Tip to TIP411 and begin the message with SFPD.


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