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FBI assists investigation into theft of artwork worth more than $400,000

Boulder Police asked for the public's help to find five paintings stolen from a padlocked truck on Dec. 14.

BOULDER, Colo. — The FBI was assisting in the investigation of five pieces of art valued at $400,000 that were stolen from a padlocked truck outside a hotel last month, Boulder Police said on Wednesday.

The Boulder Police Department asked for the public's help in finding the artwork that was stolen Dec. 14. Employees of a company transporting the artwork across the country stayed that night at a hotel in the 5300 block of South Boulder Road, police said.

The next morning, they found that someone had cut the padlock on the truck and had stolen five pieces of art and tools. Police said there were other pieces of art on the truck that were not stolen.

Police said the art had come from Los Angeles and was being delivered to locations in Colorado and New Mexico. Online records show three of the paintings were sold at auction in Los Angeles in November.

Colleen Fanning is the art adviser for the Colorado couple whose two paintings were stolen. One of them was painted by Elaine de Kooning, the wife of Willem De Kooning, one of the most prominent artists of the 20th century.

"My reaction was fury. I was so upset that they had been taken," Fanning said. "We were shocked and appalled and had no idea that something like this could even happen."

Boulder Police declined to comment on possible suspects or leads. They said that the black market for stolen paintings is not as large as it used to be, thanks in large part to widely available electronic databases that keep track of stolen art. 

Anyone with information on the theft can contact Detective R. Montano-Banda at 303-441-1906 and reference case 22-12364.

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