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Rembrandt work stolen from California hotel

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • The theft occurred during an art exhibit
  • Detectives are reviewing security video
  • The piece is valued at about $250,000

(CNN) -- Detectives in southern California searched Sunday for clues to crack the case of a stolen piece of artwork by Dutch master Rembrandt van Rijn, thought to be worth some $250,000.

The pen-and-ink piece, known as "The Judgment," was taken from an exhibit in the lobby of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Marina del Rey Saturday night, the Marina del Rey Sheriff's Station of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said in a statement.

It measures some 10 inches by 6 inches and is dated around 1655.

The theft occurred when a curator was distracted by another person, who appeared interested in buying something, said Steve Whitmore, spokesman with the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department.

"When the curator then turned back to the exhibit ... it was gone," he said. "This was well planned and well executed."

Whitmore declined to say whether the person who distracted the curator is suspected in the theft. But he said that authorities believe more than one person was involved.

"We've got some very strong leads. I'll tell you that," he told CNN.

Detectives are reviewing hotel security video for clues and hope to have more information soon.