Michael Rosenthal -- owner of the eponymous gallery on Valencia Street
-- is perplexed as to why thieves ripped off four of his paintings in the wee hours this morning.
Sometime between evening and 3 a.m. -- when he got a call from the San Francisco Police Department -- someone took a cro-bar to his metal door frame, lifting it off its hinges (and bypassing glass doors and windows). "Whoever got in knew how to disarm the alarm," Rosenthal told SF Weekly
The thieves then bypassed "a ton of things they should have taken if they were anything but art thieves" including a bag of Nikon cameras, computers, printers and three TVs, before walking out with four paintings by the Pacifica artist Terry Hoff valued at roughly $50,000.
This, too, baffled Rosenthal.
"Terry Hoff is a significant Bay Area artist, but there's not an immense demand for stolen work by him," said the gallery owner, who opened his San Francisco shop in September after two-plus years in Redwood City. "This is a complete mystery for us."
The paintings belong to Hoff and had been hanging, on consignment, in Rosenthal's gallery. Rosenthal said he does have insurance, but has never before suffered an art theft (though did lose laptops after packed gatherings). Prior to entering the art business, Rosenthal was a vice provost at Stanford University -- answering to Condi Rice.
Images of the other stolen paintings can be viewed after the jump