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Thief Who Stole The Break Up Artist's Paintings Caught

By Rachelle Bowden in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 19, 2006 11:40AM

Have you seen The Break Up yet? Yes? Then you know that in the movie Jennifer Aniston's character works in an art gallery and that the condo she share's with Vince Vaughn is tastefully decorated with all kinds of art. That art was all done by Francine Turk, a Chicago artist who has a gallery on the Near South Side.

Since the debut of The Break Up, Turk's work has gotten a lot more attention and is now in high demand. So much so, that some theives broke into her studio and stole $30,000 - $35,000 worth of paintings. No electronics or anything were stolen. Just art.

Now, a 23-year-old graphic arts student at Columbia College has been charged with felony burglary for stealing the art. Michael Gutweiler, the accused thief, was hired to work at the Francine Turk Gallerie in May after the frenzy created by the movie began. Detectives thought almost immediately that the robbery was an inside job. Witnesses saw 2 men in ski masks break some windows, grab 10 paintings, and get away in a maroon van. All trails lead to Gutweiler. The paintings haven't been recovered, and so far no one else is charged. Gutweiler's bail is set at $50,000.