“I want my babies back,” said artist Katie O’Neill after 11 paintings, worth about $35,000 was stolen from her art studio on Antioch on Saturday, October 8.
Around 10:30 p.m., a Gelson’s employee saw a man that was described as black and about 6 feet tall, use a crowbar on the window, so he could open the door and gain access to the studio.
The employee shouted out, but the man was threatening to the employee and he backed down. Another person drove by and asked the man what he was doing and supposedly he said, “Some burglar robbed my store,” and that he was dealing with it.
The thief then went in and removed 11 paintings. Around 12:30 p.m., a friend of O’Neill’s who was driving by the store called her to say that someone had broken into the store.
The police were called, and after they left around 2 a.m. O’Neill was left alone, trying to find a company to board up the broken window to keep the rest of her paintings safe.
O’Neill wrote, “The people who have bought my paintings have bought them with love – to put in their homes and have them become part of their lives. That is so important to me. And the thought that 11 paintings of mine are lost. It’s so personal. I can’t even type this without crying. Why would anyone do this?”
On Monday, she went to different retail businesses on Antioch to check on surveillance cameras to see if she could find an image of the car with a license plate. She also called the police to see if detectives could come out and possibly find fingerprints.
Captain Jonathon Tom reached out to the West L.A. Detectives and requested their assistance.
“Community support is helping me not get depressed,” she said and noted she would love some detective help from the community. The paintings that were stolen are on her website https://www.oneillsfineart.com/collections/182561.
If everyone in the community keeps an eye on social media sites where items are bought and sold – and if everyone keeps an eye out on local flea markets and along areas such as the Venice Board Walk, O’Neill is hopeful someone may spot a painting.
She just wants her paintings back. “I spent hours and hours of my life on the Paris painting,” O’Neill said. “It wasn’t quite done. I had put it aside and planned to go back to it.”
That painting and one other “Towards High Point,” had not been signed, yet.
O’Neill did not have theft insurance because she did not have a security system. That may change, now.