Shelton Resident Foils Boston Art Theft

The suspect allegedly stole five pieces of art

A Boston University student from Shelton, Connecticut and two other students helped nab a man suspected of trying to steal five paintings from a Boston art gallery after the Super Bowl last weekend.

Mackenzie Thompson, a Shelton resident and Boston University student, said he and two other students were walking near the Galerie D'Orsay on Newbury Street after the Super Bowl last weekend and heard glass breaking. 

Then, Thompson said, a man walked out with several paintings.

"We yell out, 'Hey, what's going on - did you take those?' He looks behind, sees us running after him, and he drops the paintings in attempt to flee. We really didn't have any thought process about it. We just chased after him and we grabbed him," Thompson said.

The three students chased the man down, apprehended him and flagged down a police officer.

The art thief took advantage of an empty Newbury Street as Boston was celebrating the New England Patriots' Super Bowl victory on Feb. 5.

"We were walking down to the Common after the Super Bowl and we were walking back on Newbury when we heard the glass break and saw some guy walking out with a bunch of paintings," Jesse Do, another of the students, said.

"We saw the guy come out with some paintings, looked at each other, and said, 'This isn't normal,'" added Chris Savino.

The three chased the man down, apprehended him and flagged down a police officer, who arrested Jordan Russell Leishman, 29, of Chelsea, Massachusetts.

Leishman was arraigned on Monday on multiple charges and ordered held without bail.

Surveillance video obtained this week captured the moment the theft happened and shows the suspect breaking the front door.

Among the stolen items were Picasso and Rembrandt etchings, some of the gallery's most prized pieces. In total, the pieces were worth about $50,000.

"There was a brick through the front door that was completely shattered, then there was a pane of glass shattered in the door itself, and that is how he was able to access - he put his arm through the broken glass to open the door," Camille Super, one of the fine arts consultants at the gallery, said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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