Flagstaff eatery shames art thief on Facebook - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Flagstaff eatery shames art thief on Facebook

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Photo via The McMillan Facebook page Photo via The McMillan Facebook page
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - A Flagstaff restaurant owner used the power of social media to track down a couple of thieves.

A piece of art was stolen from The McMillan's Bar & Kitchen earlier this month. The owner turned to Facebook posting a picture of the thieves and a message to them.

The surveillance picture snapped as the suspected thief put the painting in a backpack after he took it off the wall. The painting is called the "Raven Saint II" and was produced by local artist Emma Gardner. It was on display and for sale in the restaurant.

"Mainly I felt accountable to get the artist her art back," said Tyler Christensen.

Christensen is the owner of the McMillan, he turned to social media to help get the painting back. He posted a photo of the thief and an open letter that said, "Dearest thief, I do not know your identity, nor do I care, what I do wish is you will return this painting to it's rightful place."

Christensen's Facebook post was shared more than 8,000 times and received 4,000 likes.

"I didn't anticipate this kind of response, and it's really heartwarming to have Flagstaff come out and support a local artist, and make sure that she's taken care of," he said.

Days later the two other men seen in the picture came forward and gave $500 to cover the cost of the artwork.

"I'm not out to get anybody in trouble, my main goal was to get the art back for the artist, they've come to me and asked me not to tell anyone who they are," said Christensen.

But Christensen said the suspected thief never came forward, he's just happy the artist got paid for her work. The painting has not been recovered, some people in Flagstaff say they last saw the picture hanging from a tree.
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