Accused Art Thief Charged

July 8, 2011

CONTACT: Erica Terry Derryck, DA Gascón’s Office, (415) 553-1167
ADA Seth Steward, DA Gascón’s Office, (415) 553-1014


SAN FRANCISCO – San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón announced today that Mark Lugo (CN 11018163) was charged for allegedly stealing a work of art by Pablo Picasso from a local gallery.

Mark Lugo, age 30 of Hoboken, New Jersey was charged with one felony count of grand theft in violation of California Penal Code section 487(a), one felony count of being in possession of stolen property in violation of California Penal Code section 496(a) and one felony count of second degree burglary in violation of California Penal Code section 459. The defendant is likely to be arraigned in San Francisco Superior Court on Monday, July 11 at 1:30 p.m. The Department has yet to be determined.

According to court documents on July 5, 2011, the defendant allegedly entered an art gallery in San Francisco’s Union Square and removed a pencil drawing by Pablo Picasso from the wall. He then left the gallery, hailed a cab and returned to the San Francisco hotel in which he was staying.

Based on information provided by witnesses at the art gallery and security footage obtained from a nearby business, police were able to track the cab and ultimately apprehend the suspect in Napa, California on July 6, 2011. At the time of the arrest, the drawing, entitled, “Tête de Femme (Head of a Woman)” was in the defendant’s possession.

The defendant is currently in custody with bail set at $5 million.

San Francisco Police Inspector Donna Loftus led the investigation that resulted in defendant Lugo’s arrest.