ARTS & CULTURE
06/15/2012 02:09 pm ET | Updated Jun 15, 2012

Stockholm Art Heist Botched Because Getaway Car Is Too Small

When two bumbling art thieves in Sweden recently decided to get creative with their getaway car, their art heist scheme took a hilarious turn. Note to self: when choosing a getaway car for your art heist, go with the traditional white van.

Yesterday Aftonbladet reported that two men broke into a man's house in a suburban town in Stockholm and stole three paintings, one of which was the beloved Swedish artistCarl Larsson's 1877 work, "Clair-Obscur." Yet their plans were foiled when they tried to stick the 4 by 3-foot painting into their getaway car, a small red Ford.

An unnamed witness reported to Sweden's The Local: "They tried to get the painting in the car, but it was too big. They threw it aside when we came." The men then zoomed away, almost running over the painting in the process. The two other stolen paintings were found in a nearby dumpster. Police are currently searching for the offenders, but we're guessing it won't take them too long to find these incompetent would-be thieves.

The hefty 1877 artwork, titled "Clair-Obscur," is worth between $428,000 and $713,000. The artist, who died in 1919, is a Swedish painter who represented the Arts and Crafts movement, an anti-industrial school dedicated to reviving classical tradition and technique along with ornament and romantic design. The other two paintings were also by Swedish artists, but their provenance is still unknown.

These have not been the greatest few weeks for art heists. Late last month, the Daily Herald reports a pair of bronze statues went missing from Waukegan Public Library, a small city north of Chicago. The stolen works, worth around $15,000, were then sold to a scrap metal business for a mere $270. In a truly tragic finale the sculptures, depicting a young boy and girl reading, were melted down by the time police investigated the theft.

Waukegan's police chief called the crime "despicable," saying "even amongst thieves, there are lines that should not be crossed." One of the alleged thieves is currently being held in jail on $50,000 bail.

We suppose we can find some solace in knowing those dim enough to try to steal art are often too dim to get away with it, right?

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