High-Class Heists

Hang on tightly to those Picassos at Basel. Art crime is on the rise.

Nader sighs, "And, unfortunately, most of the dealers don't know what they're doing either."

As for the pre-Columbian art turned up in that Coconut Grove house: This past September, the 168 stolen items — which were illegally dug up from historic sites around Ecuador — were at last sent back to their homeland, along with 583 other pieces the thieves had stockpiled in their hometown of Guayaquil. The alleged offenders got off easy, though. Charges were dropped against Edgar Nakache and Susan Aviles; Cecilia Marcillo-Aviles pleaded guilty and was sentenced to time served in prison and fined $600.

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