Accused art thief gives jailhouse interview

July 8, 2011 6:52:38 PM PDT
ABC7 went to the San Francisco County Jail Friday to visit with Mark Lugo, the New Jersey man accused of stealing a Picasso sketch from a San Francisco art gallery on Tuesday.

Lugo says it has been difficult to get in touch with his family because police took his cellphone and he does not know any people in the Bay Area, except for friends in Napa, where he was arrested Wednesday night. He says he does not have money and he is hoping someone will take the case pro-bono because of its high profile nature.

Lugo would not talk about the theft of Picasso's "Tete de Femme" drawing; the 1965 sketch is valued at $250,000. Lugo is accused of taking the drawing off the wall at Weinstein Gallery at Geary and Powell streets, walking out the door and then grabbing a cab nearby. He was caught on surveillance video with what police say is the Picasso under his arms as he walked past Lefty O'Doul's Restaurant. Police contacted the cab driver, traced Lugo to the Palomar Hotel on 4th Street, then eventually to his friends' place in Napa. The Picasso, out of its frame, was there, neatly wrapped for a Fed Ex box.

Lugo has reportedly worked at high profile New York restaurants in the past. I asked him how the jail food was and he says, "I've tasted better."

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