Pebble Beach Art Theft Soap Opera Continues

Another chapter has been added by northern California media to the strange tale of Dr. Ralph Kennaugh and Angelo Benjamin Armadio (pictured l to r), who reported the robbery last fall from their rented Pebble Beach home of 13 paintings worth $27 million. Just a fraction of the artwork by Jackson Pollock, Matisse, Rembrandt, Renoirand others was insured.

A Superior Court judge has dismissed the pair’s defamation lawsuit against the Monterey County Sheriff’s department. This despite the plaintiffs’ accusation that a deeper set of motives was behind the labeling by cops of the September 25th, 2009 robbery report as a “hoax.”

The men claimed in the suit that the Sheriff’s Office didn’t seriously investigate the art theft, but instead sought to discredit Amadio because he was involved with the daughter of a man with influential ties to the department.

Kennaugh and Armadio’s attorney sought to use this context as a way of getting around the law enforcement authorities’ de facto cloak of legal immunity. The duo have indicated they intend to take their case all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary.