Police searching for NY man who stole $200K in artwork

SPARTA TOWNSHIP, NJ (Sussex County) – Police are searching for a Brooklyn man who they say allegedly stole several pieces of artwork valued over $200,000 from a home in Sparta Twp.

Police say that Francesco Bove, 64, stole valuable artwork from an unoccupied residence on July 10, 2017, Sparta Township Lt. John Lamon said.

The homeowners hired Bove, to do the cleanup and repair of the residence after a busted pipe caused water damage. They were unaware that anything had been taken from the residence until he received a call from a friend asking him why he was selling his artwork, Lamon said.

The theft was then reported and the stolen artwork is valued at approximately $239,000, Lamon said.

As the detectives followed up on leads, they were able to establish that Bove sold several pieces of art to dealers and auction houses, Lamon said.

Detectives attempted to contact Bove, but they were told that he left the U.S. and travelled to Italy, Lamon said.

A warrant was issued for Bove for second-degree theft and third-degree burglary, Lamon said.

Extradition was approved by the Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office and then detectives received Information that Bove has returned to the U.S, Lamon said.

Bove is currently being sought as a wanted person.

Anyone that knows the whereabouts of Bove is asked to contact the Sparta Township Police Department at (973) 729-6121.

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By: Jay Edwards Follow on Twitter | Like on Facebook