The 49-year-old who allegedly stole three paintings from a Williamsburg art gallery before being chased down by the gallery owner, and then apprehended by police, has been indicted and is facing charges of burglary, larceny and robbery of artwork worth $10,000.
Louis Lassalle, 49, is believed to have made off with portraits depicting Jean-Michel Basquiat, Nelson Mandela and Snoop Lion from Cotton Candy Machine during an exhibition on March 1.
All three portraits were done by Bushwick-based Amar Stewart, whose paintings of hip-hop royalty we admired days before the heist landed his work on Good Morning America and in the New York Post, which dubbed Lassalle an “art-less dodger”. Stewart’s other paintings at the gallery include Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes depicted on horseback and Jay-Z shown holding a skull while wearing a feathered hat.
Sean Leonard, a co-owner of Cotton Candy Machine, chased down Lassalle and recovered the Basquiat painting. According to him and to the Kings County District Attorney, which announced the indictment, the other two paintings have not been found.
If convicted, Lassalle could see up to seven years in prison.
The above video shows the Basquiat portrait being boosted. The video below shows Leonard chasing the alleged thief after the gallery owner recovered the artwork.