LOS ANGELES (CNS) – County prosecutors today asked police to conduct more investigation into a man arrested in connection with the theft of valuable paintings from financier Jeffrey Gundlach’s Santa Monica home to determine if any charges are warranted.
No charges were immediately filed against Jay Jeffrey Nieto, according to Jane Robison of the District Attorney’s Office. Nieto, 45, of Canyon Country, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of possessing stolen property, authorities said.
Santa Monica police have not yet presented any evidence to prosecutors against a second man, Wilmer Bolosan Cadiz, who was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of receiving stolen property.
Cadiz, 40, was released Thursday on $20,000 bail, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Inmate Information Center website.
Santa Monica police announced Thursday that most of the paintings stolen from Gundlach’s home — some time between 3 p.m. Sept. 12 and 8 p.m. Sept. 14 — had been recovered.
Officers from the Santa Monica and Pasadena police departments served a search warrant at Al & Ed’s Autosound at 30 S. Rosemead Blvd. in Pasadena. During the subsequent search, most of the paintings were recovered and Nieto, the business’ manager, was arrested on suspicion of possessing stolen property, authorities said.
Investigators then followed leads that led to a San Gabriel home where Cadiz was arrested. He was in possession of four of the paintings, according to Santa Monica police Sgt. Richard Lewis.
The last painting was recovered when investigators learned it had been taken to a residence in Glendale. The person who had the painting is cooperating with investigators.
The Los Angeles Police Department, FBI, Department of Justice and Interpol worked with the Santa Monica and Pasadena police departments on the investigation.
Gundlach, the CEO of DoubleLine Capital, offered rewards of nearly $2 million for return of the artwork as well as watches, rare wine, currency and a red 2010 Porsche Carrera 4S that had been taken.
The art that was taken included works by Piet Mondrian, Jasper Johns, Philip Guston and Richard Diebenkorn.
Gundlach initially offered a reward of $200,000 for information leading to the safe return of the stolen property. He increased the rewards Monday, including a $1 million reward and $500,000 respectively for the safe return of the Mondrian painting “Composition (A) en Rouge et Blanc” and the Johns painting “Green Target.”
It was not immediately clear whether any of the rewards would be paid out.
Gundlach told the Los Angeles Times that the Mondrian 1969 oil-on-canvas was “extraordinarily rare to begin with, but very few are as elegant and in the type of condition (as this one is). You can wait years before any Mondrian comes to sale.”
Santa Monica police are continuing their investigation. Anyone with information on the case was asked to call Detective David Haro at (310) 458- 8432 or Sgt. Henry Ramirez at (310) 458-8453.
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