Hey, there! Log in / Register

Police: Man smashed open Gardner Museum door, tossed in painting he had earlier stolen from a Newbury Street gallery

Boston Police report arresting a Randolph man on charges he smashed in a door at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and left behind an object that brought the bomb and hazmat units early Saturday.

Police report BPD detectives and US marshals nabbed Robert Viens, 48, at a house on Commercial Street in Braintree on Tuesday morning.

He was charged with breaking and entering with intent to commit a felony, possession, transportation or use of a hoax device or substance and with destruction of property worth more than $1,200.

Artnet reports that the mystery item found by police was a blanket-wrapped painting. Police say Viens was already wanted for the theft of that painting - and another item - stolen from the Arden Gallery, 129 Newbury St, in an incident reported shortly before 7 a.m. on Jan. 11.

After tossing the stolen painting into the museum, Viens then pedaled away on a bicycle, Artnet reports.

Innocent, etc.

Neighborhoods: 
Topics: 

Ad:

Comments

Not Art?

up
Voting closed 10

some new twist on the Heist? Qanon trying to sow seeds of fear in the art world? The opening scene of a Thomas Pynchon novel? I can't wait to see where this is going.

up
Voting closed 30

some new twist on the Heist?

Please, don't give the Globe any ideas to keep this tired story alive. It was a simple robbery, with nobody hurt or killed. We need to just give it up already.

up
Voting closed 9

Which is exactly what the thief would say

up
Voting closed 45

I gotta get my bike tires inflated and my chain lubricated.
There is work to be done and deliveries to be made.

up
Voting closed 19

>>> I gotta get my bike tires inflated

Find Eliot of Boston, he should have some Fix-A-Flat

up
Voting closed 7

That painting was one of 13 that had been donated to the gallery by an unknown patron on March 19th, 1990.

up
Voting closed 32

Unknown to whom?

up
Voting closed 8

It's reasonable for there to be specific laws against making threats with actual hoax explosives. But "We thought it was a bomb, so you committed a crime!" is ridiculous.

up
Voting closed 17

And no, I won't provide the results of my search (you can do it yourselves) but this guy has lived a troubled life, not the least is the fact that his brother was shot to death in an incident that ended up in the very well read memoirs of the brother of the person who pulled the trigger.

All considered, stealing a painting from one place and dropping it off at a museum, using a bicycle as a means of escape is kind of a high point in his public life. Maybe he felt guilt about the crime.

up
Voting closed 12

.

up
Voting closed 8

If you limit your research to google, try "viens south boston" and read what is probably the first result. For all oddness that happened to Mr. Viens in his 20s, you'll need a readily available database.

I'm not one that says that trauma one experiences excuses their actions, but it does explain it. It could be a situation that he was headed in the direction he went beforehand, but I can see that outside events nudged him along.

up
Voting closed 7

For those who want an easy search:

https://www.beaconbroadside.com/broadside/2014/03/one-mans-history-of-gu...

This links to an excerpt from the above-cited memoir, courtesy of the book's publisher.

up
Voting closed 3

But every time I hear 'heist' and 'Gardner' I twitch so violently...

The number of folks who talked my ear off with their theories... The number of times news crews tried to accost us on our way home out of the building... *sob*

I wish I could say this sounds worse than I ever dealt with, but I did have a Third Thursday patron thrown out for rude behavior to other guests, and he promptly pulled down his pants and began pissing on the doors. Luckily, that's right when the cops showed up...

up
Voting closed 15

Never would such a thing happen on a First Monday. Sounds like a lot of untold stories though.

up
Voting closed 3

Is this some sort of art world corollary to the whole GameStop thing?

up
Voting closed 11