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Preserve and Protect

Hollywood’s art thief is a suave bon vivant, a dashing type who swoops in to liberate a valuable painting from the wall of a wealthy, boorish businessman. Lurking behind the movie romance is a much grittier reality, however. A glimpse of the case files of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Fine Art Theft Detail reveals thieves as the greedy opportunists and their victims as defenseless art connoisseurs who have worked diligently, and paid dearly, to build their collections.