Paintings stolen more than three years ago from a Cotati bookstore turned up on eBay this week, according to police, who arrested a Santa Rosa man accused of offering them for sale on the Internet auction site.
Police learned Monday that three paintings believed to have been stolen in May 2004 from North Light Books were listed on eBay, Cotati Police Sgt. Steve Bourns said Tuesday.
A fourth stolen painting already had been sold earlier this month, Bourns said.
After the theft, the bookstore owners valued the four paintings at $4,000.
Investigating the case, Cotati Police Officer Chris Kaupe identified the seller as Raymond Lee Patrick, 35, of Santa Rosa.
Patrick was on probation and required to submit to searches by law enforcement. Kaupe and Cotati Police Sgt. Dennis Wallach went to Patrick's home to conduct a search and found the three stolen paintings, Bourns said.
The officers also found information about the buyer of the fourth painting, which was purchased by a San Clemente man. The buyer, who paid $100 for an abstract titled "Creation," turned the painting over to police in the Orange County city.
The painting and three others, titled "Lips" "Cupcakes" and "Morning Glory," are the work of Petaluma artist Jim March, according to Bourns.
March's ex-wife apparently discovered the paintings were for sale on the Internet and alerted police.
Police also found large tools at Patrick's home, which Patrick couldn't prove were his. They were seized to determine if they were stolen, Bourns said.
Patrick was taken to Sonoma County Jail after being arrested on suspicion of possessing stolen property and violating probation.
He is being held without bail due to the probation violation.
Bourns said the case remains under investigation.
You can reach Staff Writer Randi Rossmann at 521-5412 or email@example.com.
More About The Deal
Seller: Industrial Carting / Global Materials Recovery Services
Owner: Curtis Michelini Sr. / Charles Hardin Sr.
Service Area: Sonoma County
Buyer: Republic Services
Employees: 33,000 (approximately)
Owner: Cascade Investment Group / Publicly traded company
Service Area: 41 U.S. states and Puerto Rico