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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 December, 2003, 11:53 GMT
'Monkey' held over Van Gogh theft
Van Gogh's View of the Sea at Scheveningen
Van Gogh's View of the Sea at Scheveningen was stolen
A Dutchman known to police as "The Monkey" has been arrested in southern Spain for his suspected involvement in the theft of two Van Gogh paintings.

Octave Durham - who earned his nickname for his ability to elude police - was arrested on Friday.

The 31-year-old is wanted in connection with a robbery from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam in December 2002.

The stolen paintings were Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen and View of the Sea at Scheveningen.

Mr Durham was arrested in Puerto Banus, a luxury suburb of Marbella, on an international warrant.

Extradition

Investigators were baffled by the theft at the time because guards patrolled the premises at night and there was tight security inside, including infra-red systems and cameras.

The thieves got in through the roof and police found a rope and a 4.5-metre (15-foot) ladder leaning against the rear of the building.

During Mr Durham's arrest, police confiscated several mobile phones and a police radio scanner.

He will be questioned at Madrid's National Court while extradition proceedings begin.




SEE ALSO:
Two Van Gogh paintings stolen
07 Dec 02  |  Europe
Greatest heists in art history
28 Aug 03  |  Entertainment
What happens to stolen art?
29 Aug 03  |  Entertainment


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