A little more than a week ago, a man walked into the Venus Over Manhattan gallery and walked out with Salvador Dali’s “Cartel de Don Juan Tenorio”. There was no elaborate plan or crazy scheme. The mystery dude just told the security guard he was going to take a picture of it, waited for the watchman to walk into the other room, shoved it into a bag and calmly exited out of the front door. At first, I couldn’t figure out if it was one of those so-simple-it’s-genius plans or really just a guy impulsively doing something idiotic without thinking through the consequences. Turns out it’s probably closer to the second analysis.

According to The New York Post, the thief contacted the gallery earlier this week and informed them he was going to send the painting back. His communication included a tracking number, and when police hunted down the package, it, in fact, contained the painting. There were no scratches, dings or marks of any kind. It looked exactly how it did when it walked out the door.

It’s unclear whether the police will continue to hunt for the man who left with the painting, but if they do find him, his punishment will definitely be a lot less severe than it would had he gotten nervous and trashed the $150,000 Dali. In fact, I don’t understand why more criminals don’t do this. If the stakes get too high, why not cut your losses? This is how the movie Alpha Dog should have ended if any of the real life kidnappers had any goddamn sense.

We’ll let you know if mystery dude is ever identified.

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