BOSTON, Aug. 19 (UPI) — The FBI said Wednesday it is offering $20,000 for help locating two stolen paintings by American artist N.C. Wyeth in a heist that has a reality television twist.
The two paintings — “The Encounter on Freshwater Cliff” and “Go Dutton, and that Right Speedily” — were stolen in 2013 from a Portland, Maine, businessman, along with four other works by the same artist. The paintings are estimated to be worth between $1 million and $2 million apiece.
Vincent B. Lisi, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston Division, said the agency is seeking help from the public to find the two paintings that remain missing.
“I’m optimistic that one day soon the paintings will be returned to their rightful owner and we’ll bring those responsible to justice,” he said.
Four of the paintings were recovered in December 2014 at a Los Angeles pawn shop and three individuals — Lawrence Estrella, Oscar Leroy Roberts and Dean Coroniti — were charged in connection with the theft.
Authorities said Estrella, 65, allegedly transported the four recovered paintings to the West Coast in order to sell them. He pleaded guilty to interstate transportation of stolen property and was sentenced to 92 months in prison.
Roberts, 37, was sentenced to 28 months in prison for selling the paintings at Beverly Hills Pawn Shop, which is the subject of a reality television show, Beverly Hills Pawn, on cable channel Reelz. Roberts, an aspiring rapper, also appeared on a hip-hop reality show pilot episode.
Coroniti, 55, has pleaded guilty to possession of stolen property and is scheduled to be sentenced in October.
The FBI said it believes the two missing paintings are somewhere in New England.