Artist Katie O’Neill’s Fine Art Gallery was broken into on Saturday, October 8 around 10:30 p.m. Eleven paintings, worth about $35,000, were stolen from her art studio on Antioch.
Around 10:30 p.m., a Gelson’s employee saw a man, who was described as black and about 6 feet tall, use a crowbar on the window. Once the window was broken, he reached in and opened the door to gain access to the studio.
The employee shouted out, but the man was threatening to the employee. 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.
An anonymous 911 call was received by LAPD.
O’Neill was alerted to the broken window and break in around 12:30 p.m. when a friend, who was driving by called her.
O’Neill has been working with a LAPD detective, and has also requested and received some footage from cameras in surrounding businesses. Once she receives the okay from the detective, CTN will print a photo of the car and person who were captured on tape.
The man in question was wearing gloves and a hat when he broke into the store and the detective thinks he’s a professional.
Friends of O’Neill have started a go fund me page. CTN spoke to O’Neill on October 13, and O’Neill was hesitant at first to take help. But then realized she needed to recoup losses. The money raised so far, will help pay for the board that was used in the window, and now for a window replacement://www.gofundme.com/f/katie-oneill-fine-art-gallery?utm_campaign=p_lico+share-sheet&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_source=customer
O’Neill did not have theft insurance because she did not have a security system.
She just wants her paintings, “my babies,” back “this is so important to me,” O’Neill said.
The artist is thankful for the community’s help and said if her paintings are recovered, any money raised on gofundme beyond the window replacement will be donated to Free Arts. O’Neill has worked with the nonprofit, which provides free art to children ages 5 to 18, who have experienced abuse, poverty, neglect or homelessness (visit: freearts.org).
If anyone drove or walked by the store during the break-in, and can offer any more information, please contact O’Neill.