7 year art project stolen in Los Banos, some items recovered

    Seven year unfinished art project stolen in Los Banos (Courtesy: Los Banos Police)

    UPDATE: Thursday, November 2, 2017 - The Los Banos Police Department is reporting some of the stolen paintings and drawing have been recovered.

    A woman walking on a path noticed several pieces of artwork discarded in the area near Place Rd.

    The Los Banos Police Department recovered 52 of the 130 paintings and all 138 drawings. There are still 78 paintings missing.

    If you find any other pieces or know anything about the burglary, please call the Los Banos Police Department at (209) 827-7070.

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    Monday, October 1, 2017 - An art thief is holding more than 250 paintings and drawings of dead trees. They were stolen Friday night out of truck parked at a hotel in Los Banos. Artist Maximo Gonzalez has spent the past seven years working on his tree project.

    His biggest fear now is the thief will pitch all seven boxes of art work in a dumpster or on the side of the road. Gonzalez is hurt and hopes his stolen paintings and drawings will be recovered.

    The 268 paintings and drawings are part of his ecological art project. "It's goal is to create consciousness about the devastation that is being done of our woods, of our nature, of our environment."

    Gonzalez was planning to display his project at Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga.

    He says the paintings and drawings have little value if they are separated. This past weekend the art community reached out in Los Banos. Members searched for art in dumpsters. They also put out an alert at area churches.

    Gonzales hopes the thief has a conscience. "We hope this person who don't know about art, who don't know about these paintings, please put these paintings somewhere where we can find them."

    The Los Banos Police Department is investigating the stolen artwork. If you have any information on the case call 209-827-7070 Ext. 0

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