Rembrandt's Portrait of Jacob de Gheyn III has been stolen from the Dulwich Picture Gallery in London four times:
Between 14 August 1981 and 3 September 1981 the painting was taken from Dulwich Picture Gallery and retrieved when police arrested four men in a taxi who had the painting with them. A little under two years later a burglar smashed a skylight and descended through it into the art gallery, using a crowbar to remove the painting from the wall. The police arrived within three minutes but were too late to apprehend the thief. The painting was missing for three years, eventually being found on 8 October 1986 in a luggage rack at the train station of a British army garrison in Münster, Germany.
The other two times, the painting was found once underneath a bench in a graveyard in Streatham, and once on the back of a bicycle. Each time the painting has been returned anonymously with more than one person being charged for its disappearance.
The gallery is currently promoting an exhibit called Rembrandt's Light, which just earned a lot of free publicity:
On Wednesday, police thwarted an attempted robbery at the gallery:
An intruder appears to have forced entry to the gallery and removed the two paintings, which were part of an exhibition.
Officers arrived minutes later and, following the search of the area, challenged an intruder and an officer gave chase.
The intruder then turned and used a canister to spray the officer in the face with an unknown substance.
As a result of this assault, the suspect was able to get away.
The officer who was sprayed did not suffer serious injuries and continued with his tour of duty.
The officer located and recovered one painting, and in cooperation with security staff, the other painting was also quickly found.
For the time being, the gallery is closed, and "Detectives from the Flying Squad are investigating."
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