Fairbanks gallery owners watch for thieves

Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2002

FAIRBANKS -- A pilfering patron of the arts has been making opening nights at the Well Street Art Co. expensive events for gallery owner and artist David Mollett. In the past four months, three pieces of art have been stolen during Friday night art openings.

The most recent and most expensive item lifted, a Fred Machetanz lithograph print titled "The Hunt" and valued at $3,400, was filched within the first half hour of an opening reception last Friday. In December, a Rik Seeganna soapstone carving, weighing approximately 6 to 8 pounds with a $350 retail value, was stolen right off the gallery counter.

"I had just bought it from Rik a couple hours earlier," Mollett said.

The thefts started in October when an oval, aqua-blue ceramic plate about 20 inches in length worth $70 disappeared from the gallery during a reception.

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