Paintings en route to Santa Fe stolen in Boulder

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SANTA FE, N.M. — Two art pieces worth over $100,000 and of deep value to New Mexico’s history were en route to Santa Fe before thieves struck in Boulder – and now the FBI is involved.

The two pieces were among the art employees were transporting from Los Angeles to Santa Fe and elsewhere. They stopped at a hotel in Boulder, which is where someone cut the padlock on the truck and stole the two pieces and three others, plus some tools.

Police say there were other pieces of art that were left behind. However, the five pieces stolen were worth $400,000.

“It’s very usual that we have vehicle break-ins, but this is the first time I’ve heard of high-end art being stolen,” said Raul Montaño, a detective with Boulder police.

One painting, which sold for $38,000 at auction, depicts the Taos Pueblo. The other depicts Taos Pueblo at night and is valued at $71,000. They were both headed to new owners in Santa Fe before they were stolen.

“My reaction was like, fury, I was so upset that they had been taken,” said Colleen Fanning, the prospective owners’ adviser. “We were shocked and appalled and had no idea that something like this could even happen.”

Investigators have no leads on any suspects. However, officials say the black market for stolen paintings is not what it used to be because of new technology that keeps track of stolen art.