Video shows moment thief smashed into museum, stole van Gogh painting

Dramatic surveillance video has emerged of the moment a sledgehammer-wielding art thief busted into a museum near Amsterdam and swiped a prized painting by Vincent van Gogh, according to reports.

A Dutch crime-busting TV show aired the security camera footage that captured the brazen bandit smashing his way through reinforced glass doors at the Singer Laren museum early March 30.

The man, who arrived on a motorcycle, is then seen rushing out of the museum gift shop with the Dutch master’s 1884 work, “The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring,” tucked under his arm.

Police hope the video will help them track down the thief and return the painting to the museum, which was shut down due to coronavirus containment measures at the time of the heist. The work had been on loan from the Groninger Museum.

Singer Laren managing director Evert Van Os stressed that the footage that aired Tuesday didn’t show all of the burglary, according to the UK’s Independent.

“The burglar broke through a number of doors and several layers of security that had been approved by security experts,” Van Os said. “The footage released does not therefore allow any conclusions to be drawn as to the quality of security at Singer Laren.”

On Wednesday, police said they had received 56 new tips as a result of the TV show.

A police car stands in front of the building of the Singer Laren museum in Laren, The Netherlands
A police car stands in front of the building of the Singer Laren museumEPA

Police spokesman Joost Lanshage said it was unclear if the thief acted alone.

Authorities also are seeking information about a white van seen driving past the museum.

“It looks like they very deliberately targeted this one Van Gogh painting,” another police spokeswoman, Maren Wonder, told the Opsporing Verzocht TV show.

“People can help if they now realize that another visitor was behaving suspiciously,” she said. “It would be very helpful if visitors to the museum have photos or video recordings with other people in them.”

The 10-by-22-inch oil-on-paper painting — one of a series made when the artist was staying at his father’s house — is of a person standing in a garden surrounded by trees with a church tower in the background.

Its estimated value is between $1.1 million to $6.6 million, according to reports.

With Post wires


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