The thieves who stole two paintings from the Roerich Museum in Manhattan were arrested last week as they tried to sell one of the stolen works to an undercover cop at a Starbucks:
On Sept. 3, Ryjenko and Croussouloudis — carrying the painting in a blue paper shopping bag — traveled to a Lower East Side Starbucks to meet with the detective, police said.
While Ryjenko waited outside, Croussouloudis met with the phony collector and asked for $20,000 for the painting. She even warned him that the work of art had been stolen and that he would be unable to freely display it in his gallery, police said.
The cop then asked her to come with him to his gallery where he would give her the money. As she and Ryjenko walked with him up Allen Street, they were arrested.
A law-enforcement source said the couple denied having stolen the painting.
Couple busted with Stolen painting [New York Post, Sep. 10, 2009].