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Charges dropped against man accused of stealing own art

Posted February 22, 2012

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— Wake County prosecutors dismissed charges Wednesday against a former Cary police sergeant who had been accused of stealing his own artwork.

An Apex restaurant that had asked Keith Adams to display 32 pieces of his art closed its doors with the paintings locked inside. Adams said the owner of the building wouldn't return his property, which had been loaned to the restaurant.

A few days later, Adams said, he returned to the empty building, found the door open and took his paintings off the walls. Police charged him with felony breaking and entering and larceny.

"My property, I had the right to it, and I went and got it. I did not see any issues with that," he recently told WRAL News.

Adams, who retired from the Cary Police Department after more than 20 years in law enforcement, was diagnosed with terminal cancer three years ago. He said a lot of his art has come from his fight against the disease.

The Apex Arts Council has asked him to exhibit some of his works in a show called "Art Worth Stealing." Dates for the exhibition haven't been set.


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  • CancerChick Feb 24, 2012

    Fabulous! I'm happy to see the judge has some sense. Keith is a really, really nice and honest man, who's battled cancer so bravely. He deserved this good news.

  • lawncare5 Feb 22, 2012

    Glad to see charges dropped. Business owner should have contacted him in the first place. Milkman wins by submission.

  • DJ of Clayton Feb 22, 2012

    I can't help but think that if the artist had not been a retired cop, the charges would not have been dropped. Maybe I'm wrong. It reminds me of the case in Butner where they stopped a drunk driver, found out that he was a state trooper, then took him to a motel rather than charge him. Unfortunately, it seems that the same rules don't apply to everyone.

  • Shadow213 Feb 22, 2012

    bahahahaha love his next loan will be at an expo called "art worth stealing"

  • bubbba Feb 22, 2012

    bubbba we're talking about a professional's property, ---------
    Ain't no lawyer, thats fer sure, but I always thought you could not enter private property unless you were saving a life.
    I guess being a professional sure rules me out and half the nation. Is that a new law, The Professional Courteousy Law? I guess thats why I got convicted for trespassin/fishin after hours at Lake Wheeler. I wonder why Bernie Madoph is in jail?

  • jscott13 Feb 22, 2012

    Good. Charges were ridiculous.

  • ontodanex1 Feb 22, 2012

    Who charged him? Apex PD?

  • sunshine1040 Feb 22, 2012

    Article does not say who opened the doors for him. What part of loan did the owner not get

  • Just Plain Common Sense Feb 22, 2012

    Actually, the store owner should have returned the loaned property upon request. Failing that, the store owner should have been charged with "theft by conversion". The owner of the paintings should not have been charged at all and should not charge someone with something just because some wants you to. Really.

  • pulstar40 Feb 22, 2012

    How can you be charged with felony breaking and entering if the doors were open?