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Busted: Fashion Publicist Doubles as International Art Thief

Today in Dumb Criminals News: back in June someone brazenly walked into an art gallery on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, grabbed a Salvador Dali drawing valued at $150,000, and walked away. Just like that. The perfect crime? Not really–the thief, apparently suffering from pangs of guilt, anonymously mailed the picture back to the gallery as soon as law enforcement released security camera photos of the heist.

We have a feeling 29-year-old Milan resident Phivos Istavrioglou regrets that decision: he was arrested and charged with second-degree grand larceny yesterday. Investigators ID’d him after matching fingerprints taken from a 2012 Whole Foods shoplifting arrest to those on the canvas.

Our favorite parts of this story: Investigators apparently identified him as a suspect after discovering that he’d searched for information on the theft before it became public knowledge–and they convinced him to return to New York by posing as gallery owners and offering him a consulting job!

Oh, we almost forgot: he worked as a publicist for French fashion label Moncler. We don’t know how well he performed in that gig, but he certainly knows how to get unwanted attention from the press! We have a feeling he won’t be tweeting again anytime soon, though…

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