Newbury Street gallery robbed, and suspected thief caught within moments
During the festive celebration after the New England Patriots notched their historic Super Bowl win, authorities say Jordan Russell Leishman commited a smash-and-grab robbery of a Newbury Street gallery in Boston’s Back Bay.
Leishman allegedly emerged from the Galerie d’Orsay with five museum-quality artworks about midnight Monday, according to police — stepping onto a street still flooded with happy Patriots fans and many Boston police officers.
Passersby, apparently drawn by the sounds of smashing glass, detained the Chelsea man until police arrived. Leishman, 29, was still holding five pieces of art worth an estimated $45,000, police said.
Officials at the Galerie d’Orsay were puzzled by the items the thief chose — etchings by Pablo Picasso and Rembrandt and lithographs by Joan Miró and Marc Chagall.
Three of the stolen items were displayed near the entry, but two others were deeper into the interior of the store, said gallery official Kristine Feeks Hammond. She wondered whether the thief had visited recently to study the offerings.
The stolen Picasso etching was worth about $1,800, but left behind was a $90,000 Picasso. The Rembrandt worth $7,500 was taken from the third room in the gallery, but the thief bypassed a similarly sized Rembrandt worth $90,000, she said.
“I can’t quite make sense of it,’’ Feeks Hammond said of the suspect’s selections. “It’s just peculiar.’’
Feeks Hammond said police returned the stolen artwork.
“We are just glad to have them back,’’ she said.
Leishman was arraigned on multiple charges Monday in Boston Municipal Court, where he was ordered held without bail on a pending assault case from January.
He was also wanted by law enforcement in New Hampshire, although further information about that case was not immediately available.
Leishman is due back in court Feb. 15, according to Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office.