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Man Charged In Theft Of Picasso Etching From Stamford

STAMFORD, Conn. — Police have charged a suspect in the theft of a Pablo Picasso etching from a Stamford resident several years ago, Sgt. Peter diSpagna said Friday.

The victim notified police last Aug. 31 that his etching of Picasso’s “Buste de Femme à la Chaise” had been stolen, diSpagna said. The etching is valued at about $25,000, the sergeant said.

In January, the victim’s brother, who is also an art collector, found the etching was being sold from a gallery in London to a Manhattan resident, diSpagna said. Police tracked the etching back to a gallery in New York, which had purchased it from the suspect, Terrance Riggins, 48, in 2010 for $1,150, the sergeant said.

Riggins was an acquaintance of the victim, diSpagna said. Riggins had been to the victim's house once and must have taken the etching, he said.

He was found in Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, Calif., after being charged with stealing a car March 11, the sergeant said. Riggins was extradited to Connecticut and officers took him from California to Stamford on Thursday, diSpagna said.

Riggins was charged with first-degree larceny and held on $20,000 bond, diSpagna said. He is scheduled to appear in court Friday, the sergeant said.

The Manhattan man who currently is in possession of the etching will not be forced to give it up because it has changed hands so many times and was purchased legally, diSpagna said. The owner said he would be willing to bring it to Stamford if it was needed as evidence in a court case, the sergeant said.

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