Art Museum intruders escaped by boat last night in Houston

Screen shot from Carol Reed's 'The Third Man'

A couple of art museum intruders did their best Third Man impression in Houston last night. Two people allegedly broke into the Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, a satellite museum run by the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. The individuals set off a security alarm at the Bayou Bend and were chased by a security guard. They then apparently hopped on a boat on Buffalo Bayou and evaded law enforcement long enough to scurry into a large storm drain and were able to escape.

The episode calls to mind the theft in 2000 when gunmen took works of art by Rembrandt and Renoir and then escaped the waterfront National Museum of Sweden by boat. There was also speculation in 2020 that thefts from the University of Oxford’s Christ Church Picture gallery were done by thieves who came and went by boat on either the River Cherwell or the River Thames near Oxford.

These unsuccessful Bayou bandits were not able to take anything of value according to the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, but were able to lose a perfectly good boat in their escape attempt.

Here’s the local ABC13 affiliate report this morning:

A Pair of Thieves Broke Into a Houston Art Museum, Then Escaped by Boat, Texas Monthly, (last visited Mar. 17, 2021);

A. B. C. News, $30 Million Art Heist at Stockholm Museum, ABC News, (last visited Mar. 17, 2021);

Van Dyck Painting Thieves “May Have Escaped in Boat,” BBC News (Mar. 17, 2020),

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