You might think that, when committing an art theft in a busy public building, an alleged criminal would want to be discreet. But, police say, a man accused of lifting several pieces from a Toronto hospital took just the opposite approach.
The suspect, it appears, walked into the Hospital for Sick Children on University Avenue last Thursday evening, took nine large framed prints off a wall in the Burton Wing, piled them up on a cart and wheeled them away.
The man, who did not try to hide his face, was even photographed by security cameras.
He may have left in a light-coloured, four-door Mercedes, police said.
“It's a hospital, it's a place that's always frequented by people,” said Constable Wendy Drummond. “But, as you can see in the video, there was no attempt to hide.”
The pieces in question are each roughly 46 cm by 46 cm in size. Each one shows a letter of the alphabet, the shape formed by various smaller objects.
They were created by Toronto artist Darren Rigo -- a plaque bearing his name was also taken in the theft.
In total, the works are worth more than $5,000, but police did not release the exact figure.
The clean cut man in the videos is described as white, standing six-feet tall with a medium build. He has short, dark brown hair and glasses with dark frames. Clean-shaven, he was wearing a dark long-sleeved shirt, dark pants and black shoes.
The theft comes on the heels of a scam targeting hospitals in which thieves stole peoples' banking information from ATMs.
Thefts of art are relatively rare, as unique pieces can be difficult for thieves to sell without art dealers knowing they are stolen.