The FBI’s Elite Art Theft Squad

After a string of high profile art museum thefts, particularly in Sao Paulo, we’ve become enamored with the subject. So Dina Temple-Raston‘s report on NPR‘s All Things Considered about FBI agent Robert Wittman‘s Art Theft task force was like candy for our ears (more than even the real candy we put in our ears, which is disgusting and we wish we hadn’t just told you that). It’s a great look at the investigation of art crime, from the big organizations to accidental thievery by petty criminals who wouldn’t know a Monet from a Manet. Well worth a listen (or read the whole transcript if, say, you have a bunch of Jolly Ranchers stuck in, well, you know where). Here’s a bit about the crack squad of thief nabbers:

The FBI now has an entire team of agents devoted to art theft. The agents, who receive special art training, have recovered more than 850 stolen items of cultural and artistic significance. But there was a time when the FBI had just one art crimes investigator; Wittman remembers it well.

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