- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 6, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The proprietors of a San Francisco restaurant said Wednesday they have surveillance footage of a sockless thief who snatched a valuable Picasso drawing off an art gallery wall.

Lefty O’Doul’s released images showing a man walking on a sidewalk carrying a framed artwork under his arm.

The restaurant is just a few doors down from the Weinstein Gallery, where police say a man stole a Picasso drawing late Tuesday morning before fleeing in a waiting taxi.

Gallery President Rowland Weinstein told the San Francisco Chronicle that the piece, a 1965 pencil-on-paper drawing titled “Tete de Femme,” was purchased at auction this spring for $122,500 and had been part of a collection belonging to Picasso’s driver.

The man in the video is dressed similarly to a police description of the suspect.

Police say he was a well-dressed man in his 30s wearing a dark jacket and pants, large dark glasses and loafers with no socks.

The theft left an empty space on the gallery’s wall amid similarly valuable works by other modern masters, including Marc Chagall, Joan Miro and Salvador Dali.

Art experts said the publicity surrounding the theft would make it difficult for the thief to sell the painting without attracting notice. Police are hoping art collectors and dealers might spot the piece and alert law enforcement.

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