Mark Lugo, Picasso Theft Suspect, Says Incident Is "Blown Out of Proportion"

Categories: Crime
Thumbnail image for picasso theif.jpeg
tete de shame?
SF Examiner scored a jailhouse interview with the suspected Picasso thief, Mark Lugo, who was arrested yesterday on suspicion of ripping an original drawing from the wall of a Union Square art gallery. Not to our surprise, Lugo doesn't talk about the case or his defense, but he does tell Ex reporter Mike Aldax that all of this is being blown out of proportion.

The New Jersey native says he's in a state of shock, especially by the media attention the case is getting. Ironically, he has not been able to reach his family or friends since being locked up in San Francisco County Jail.

"I'm looking for a top defense lawyer with experience in cases like this," Lugo told the Examiner.

Lugo, 30, is accused of stealing a 1965 Picasso original drawing titled Tete de Femme, from the Weinstein art gallery Tuesday morning. Police say he walked into the gallery at about 11:40 a.m. He casually removed the piece from the wall, wrapped it, and hopped into a taxi on Geary Street.

Surveillance cameras from Lefty O'Doul's restaurant caught Lugo walking with the eight-inch drawing, according to police. Police later impounded the cab he got into and interviewed dozens of witnesses before tracking Lugo to a Napa condo, where he was partying with buddies.

He was preparing to ship the drawing, worth about $275,000, to an unknown person when police found it undamaged and unframed.

According to Aldax, Lugo, who has a career in high-end restaurants in New York City, was polite and well-spoken.

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How exactly is it "ironic" that he can't reach his friends and family?

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