General Crime

* Pablo Picasso Lithograph Worth $30,000 Stolen From Mansion in Novato

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A Pablo Picasso lithograph worth $30,000 is among the items stolen by partying teens and young adults at the mansion of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko, Novato police said.  Police were dispatched to the 19,500-square-foot furnished but vacant mansion at 100 Obertz Lane in southern Novato around 10 p.m. May 27, Lt. Keith Heiden said. Police saw an estimated 100 people fleeing the mansion when they arrived.

There were no arrests, Heiden said.  At 8:20 p.m. the following day, the mansion’s property manager called police to report he found two boys and a girl in a hot tub at the mansion, Heiden said. They also escaped. The property manager reported items were taken from the mansion, but it wasn’t until Tuesday that the caretaker informed police about the theft of the Picasso lithograph, Heiden said. Expensive candlesticks, computers, books and other personal items also were missing.

There is no description or photograph of the missing lithograph. Lazarenko was convicted in absentia in 2000 of laundering money in Switzerland. He fled to the U.S. in 1999 but was detained in New York City, according to the International Centre for Asset Recovery In 2004, he was convicted by a federal jury in San Francisco of conspiracy and money laundering between 1994 and 1997.

He was sentenced to nine years in prison and fined $10 million in August 2006 but his attorney appealed the conviction and sentence. In 2008 an appellate judge dismissed eight counts but upheld six money laundering and conspiracy counts. He is serving his sentnce in a federal prison near Los Angeles.

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