A missing 1982 Jean-Michel Basquiat painting en route to an exhibit in Europe was reported missing from a JFK International Airport hangar two weeks ago. Police were able to figure out that Albert Porcelli, a truck driver, stole the painting since a surveillance tape caught the crime and the fact that his presence at the warehouse was confirmed because he had to leave a copy of his driver's license there. Porcelli was not a sophisticated art thief, since he didn't try to unload the painting on the black market immediately; he just let it sit, still in its box labeled "painting," in the back of a warehouse in Elizabeth, NJ. Porcelli's landlord thinks that he was trying to get back at some coworkers. His boss told the media, "To me he's a complete idiot. Why would you give someone your driver's license with all your information and then go and do something like this?" Um, because he's a dumbass?
And what good timing for the Brooklyn Museum, which has a Basquiat show up right now for another two weeks or so.
Photograph of the recovered painting from the AP