SANTA FE (KRQE) - A tip from a citizen who'd seen a news report led Santa Fe County sheriff's deputies to tens of thousands of dollars in stolen paintings left a pawn shop.
The artwork had been stolen from a Pojoaque storage unit rented by an unnamed Santa Fe art dealer in a theft recorded by security cameras. KRQE News 13 broadcast a report on the theft Thursday night.
The five large paintings by well-known Peruvian artist Juan Machicado are valued at $35,000. They were so large they were strapped to the thief's roof rack.
A hide painting by Native American artist Allen Moore remains missing.
The Santa Fe county sheriff's department tells us a news viewer recognized the suspect's getaway SUV from this surveillance video and called authorities.
Detectives recovered the artwork at Santa Fe Modern Pawn and Exchange Friday morning and said the pawn shop paid a total of $200 for the loot.
According to detectives the suspects, a man and a woman, were not required to produce ID to sell the paintings as required by the city's pawn-shop ordinance. Sheriff's investigators are working with the Santa Fe Police Department to determine if the pawn shop will be cited.
Detectives are still trying to identify the suspects driving the Toyota 4Runner with damage to the passenger side door. The late 1990s or early 2000s vehicle is silver or white with thick black trim at the bottom and has roof racks and a moon roof.
Anyone with information on the crime or suspects can contact the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office at (505) 428-3720 or Crime Stoppers at (505) 955-5050.