Worker charged with stealing art

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STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) – A Stratford man has been charged with stealing paintings worth about $300,000 and selling them to an antiques dealer.

Larry Samas, 42, is accused of stealing five paintings last year from a storage facility in Stamford where he worked. The paintings were all original works by Beauford Delaney, one of the leading painters during the Harlem Renaissance era in the 1930s and 40s.

Police said the owner of the paintings, whose name was withheld, filed a report last September after a friend asked him why he was auctioning off his Delaney paintings. The owner kept about 18 paintings at the Stamford facility. Police withheld the name and location of the facility because other people store and archive valuables at the site.

The paintings were traced to an antiques store in Greenwich. Authorities said shop’s owner confirmed he bought the paintings from Samas and sold two to a private collector for $17,500. The owner helped police track down the paintings and return them to their owner.

Samas was arrested Friday was ordered held on $50,000 bond.

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