Published: October 9, 2007
A series of burglaries have been reported to the state police in Keene Valley in the Adirondack Mountains. Believed to have been conducted between October of 2006 and May of 2007, according to Investigator Larry E. Cragle, the police believe they have been committed by the same person or group of people.
“They don’t disturb anything so the caretakers don’t realize anything is missing. Nothing is broken; there’s no visual evidence that someone has broken in. They take specific things; they’ll take one painting and leave the one hanging next to it alone. It seems they know exactly what they want.”
The items reported as missing are varied, including at least six paintings by Russell Cheney (American, 1881‱945) of Portsmouth Harbor, a scene with a church on the corner with a elm tree, a church in South Carolina, an oil of “Old Baldy” and others.
Other items missing include: a hand colored print of a deer, described as “very old”; a digital image of a Harold Weston gouache, which the owner believes may have been taken because the thieves thought it was an original; seven Canton plates; a medieval painted wood carving of St George slaying a dragon; a Bennington two-gallon jug with incised bird/flower; an antique coffee grinder; a blue and white transfer ware sugar bowl; a transitional country Queen Anne side chair.
Also, five books on nature, titles unknown; Harold Weston’s Freedom in the Wilds: A Saga of the Adirondacks; a spoke shave tool known as a draw knife; an Eskimo soapstone carving of a reclining Eskimo with two seals; leather judge’s chairs from India; four Hitchcock chairs; a wooden box from Argentina with the initials E.L. with old letters inside; a Jean Cocteau ceramic plate, 2 of 20, initialled Jean Cocteau and inscribed “Edition originale de Jean Cocteau, Atelier Madeline Jolly.”
This is a partial list as several investigators are working on these burglaries. “We normally have about two or three burglary reports over a winter, but this last year we had five or six, at least three different houses in three different towns, and I’ve heard some people are just not reporting them,” said Cragle.
Anyone with information about any of these items should contact Investigator Larry E. Cragle, New York State Police, Route 86, Ray Brook NY 12977, or at 518-897-2044.
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