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Cary arts group rethinks security measures after paintings stolen

Posted March 21

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— Police in Cary are trying to find the thieves who made off with thousands of dollars in artwork from a medical office building.

Five paintings that were part of an exhibit at 300 Ashville Ave. disappeared sometime in February.

The artists who displayed their works said they assumed there would be security cameras in the medical office building next to WakeMed Cary, only to learn after the theft that the building has no cameras.

"It was very shocking that this happened and that the medical center had absolutely no coverage for it, no surveillance in their hallways," said Louise Fass, who had three of her paintings stolen.

Fass said police told her the paintings will likely never be found because of the dearth of physical evidence in the case.

Building managers say they don't know how the theft occurred.

The Fine Arts League of Cary coordinates some public art exhibits, including the one at the medical office building, to provide a way for artists to display and sometimes sell their work.

League president Paulette Wright said Monday that the group is re-evaluating its security policies for future exhibits.

"One of the things we are going to require is the doors are locked at a certain time and somebody’s at a front desk," Wright said, noting "there’s not a front desk there" at 300 Ashville Ave.

The five paintings were priced at $3,000 total, but to artist Sonia Kane, who painted two of the stolen pieces, they are priceless.

"Every piece of art has a large piece of the artist in it," she said. "It's not just paint on a canvas; there’s a story behind the painting."

Kane and Fass said they are disheartened by the theft, and Kane said she hopes her paintings have found a good home.

"My hope is that, wherever the paintings are that were taken, that it's truly bringing that person joy," she said.

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