MANHATTAN — A former sommelier at a Flatiron restaurant accused of stealing a Picasso from a San Francisco gallery last week was reportedly hiding a treasure trove of stolen paintings from around Manhattan in his New Jersey home.
New York and Hoboken police found 11 pieces of stolen art worth more than $500,000 in Mark Lugo's apartment while conducting a search on Wednesday, the New York Post said.
Local investigators recognized Lugo from surveillance video obtained from the Carlyle Hotel on the Upper East Side. Lugo reportedly worked as a sommelier at BLT Fish on West 17th as well as at Per Se restaurant.
Among the works discovered at Lugo's home was Fernand Leger's "Composition aux element mecaniques," worth $350,000, which was reported stolen from the Carlyle on June 28.
During the search, police allegedly found other pieces of art, including another Picasso, "Sculpteur et Deux Tetes," valued at $39,000, taken from the Williams Bennett Gallery in SoHo.
The Post also said that police found a Jean-Michel Basquiat photo snatched from the Skot Foreman Gallery in TriBeCa as well as five Mie Yim paintings from the Chambers Hotel in Midtown.
In April, Lugo allegedly took three bottles of vintage wine, worth $6,000 from a Wayne, NJ, dealer, according to the paper. The wine has not been recovered.
Lugo, 30, was allegedly later found to be in possession of the Picasso painting "Tete de Femme (Head of a Woman)."
Douglas Horngrad, Lugo's lawyer, in San Francisco told the Post that his client has "psychological issues." DNAinfo could not immediately reach Horngrad.
Lugo, held in lieu a $5 million bond, was scheduled for arraignment in San Francisco on Friday.