Mark Lugo was denied his request to have his $5 million bail reduced to $2 million. Superior Court Judge Samuel Feng called him "brazen" and said, "Public safety is absolutely something this court should be concerned about." In deciding to keep bail at $ 5 million.
The New Jersey man who is suspected in a string of high-end artthefts on both the east and west coasts pled not guilty to stealing a Pablo Picasso sketch from the Weinstein Gallery on July 5th.
He allegedly walked out of the Weinstein Gallery with the Picasso sketch, "Tête de Femme (Head of a Woman)," valued at $200,000, under his arm. A police raid on Lugo's New Jersey home earlier this week turned up 11 pieces of art stolen from galleries and hotels in Manhattan over the past month, including a Picasso etching from 1933, a Jean-Michael Basquiat photo and a Fernand Léger sketch, police estimate the value of the stolen artwork to be about $500,000.
Lugo had also failed to appear for a June 9th court date where he was charged with stealing three bottles of wine worth $6,000 from a store in Wayne, New Jersey.
His attorney, Douglas Horngrad is looking into possible psychological issues. "All the things that were taken were apparently taken in the last 45 days," Horngrad said. " Horngrad had said earlier that the crimes appear to be the work of someone in the midst of a compulsive episode, "rather than an art thief who is sophisticated enough to know how to a fence a Picasso."
Lugo is scheduled to return to court on August 23.
If you have been arrested for theft,robbery or any other theft crime, please contact a Palmdale criminal defense attorney from the Law Offices of David M. Wallin to have an experienced criminal defense attorney represent you.