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San Francisco police arrest Picasso thief suspect

By The CNN Wire Staff
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Thief gets away with $200,000 Picasso
  • New: Police arrested Mark Lugo in Napa, California.
  • Lugo is accused of stealing a Picasso painting, "Tete de Femme"
  • Lugo has been charged with six separate counts
  • The piece is valued at $200,000

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(CNN) -- San Francisco police have arrested a suspect who they say stole a $200,000 Picasso piece Tuesday from the Weinstein Gallery, according to a police statement.

Mark Lugo, 30, was arrested Thursday in Napa, California. His bail has been set at $5 million dollars, police said.

Lugo has been charged with six separate counts including burglary, grand theft and possession of controlled substance without prescription, according to a police statement.

Around 11:40 a.m. Tuesday, the Lugo allegedly entered the Weinstein Gallery, walked straight to the painting, removed it, and walked out, San Francisco police said.

He then entered a cab that appeared to be waiting and drove away.

The owner of Lefty O'Doul's, a nearby restaurant, told police Wednesday he thought he captured the suspect on the restaurant's surveillance camera.

The video shows a man walking with what looks like a painting under his arm at the same time the gallery reported the theft, CNN affiliate KGO reports.

The man captured in the video matched the description police released yesterday, KGO said.

"It's pretty high resolution and I'm sure if they post this on the air that someone will recognize this guy and find him," said the restaurants owner, Nick Bovis Wednesday.

Investigators described the video as "very clear" but they haven't said if they used the tape to identify the suspect.

The stolen artwork is a pencil-and-paper piece by Picasso entitled "Tete de Femme," or "Head of a Woman." The piece is a unique piece drawn in 1965 and valued around $200,000.

Gallery owner Roland Weinstein said he's always attempted to bring original works by artists like Picasso and and Mark Chagall to the street level so that they are easily available to the public.

"We just need to do a better job in the future to make sure our security is in place," Weinstein said.

Investigators have interviewed the cab driver and impounded the vehicle. All San Francisco cabs have surveillance videos and police are monitoring the tapes for the suspect.