Late this afternoon, members of the Montgomery County Police Special Assignment Team located Daniel Conticchio, age 27, of the 4500 block of 9th Street in northwest Washington, D.C., the suspect wanted for the theft of works of art from the Dennis and Phillip Ratner Museum located at 10001 Old Georgetown Road in North Bethesda. He was found sleeping in his car in the parking lot that serves the Wildwood Shopping Center located at Old Georgetown Road and Democracy Boulevard in Bethesda. He was taken into custody on the strength of an arrest warrant, and is currently being interviewed by detectives. # # #
Contact: Media Services Division Phone: 240.773.5030
Conticchio was identified early yesterday evening, January 19, as the suspect responsible for this crime. It was learned that he had sold the damaged sculptures early Saturday morning for approximately $150 to Montgomery Scrap and Recycling located in Rockville. After a store representative became aware that what they had purchased were stolen sculptures, he contacted police. Yesterday evening a warrant was obtained for Conticchio, charging him with five counts of theft between $10,000 and $100,000 in value, two counts of attempted theft between $10,000 and $100,000 in value, and malicious destruction of property valued over $500.
The remains of the works of art were returned to the museum, but were damaged beyond repair to their original state.
On Monday, January 17, Detectives from the Montgomery County Police 2nd District Investigative Section asked the public for assistance to locate five stolen bronze works of art and to identify the suspect(s) responsible for the theft.
It was on January 17 at 11:00 a.m., that 2nd District officers responded to the museum for the report of the theft. Responding officers learned that the art work was last seen in the garden at 6:00 p.m. on January 14, 2011, and discovered missing at 11:00 a.m. on January 16, 2011. An unknown suspect(s) had removed five large bronze sculptures from the outside garden area, and damaged two others that were left behind. One bronze sculpture was taken without damage. The other four were damaged as they were removed during the theft. Due to the careless nature of the removal it was believed likely that they were stolen for their
salvage or recycling value. The pieces each weighed about 40 pounds and were about a foot wide by two and a half feet in length. The museum estimated the value of the seven sculptures at approximately $90,000. Detectives asked art dealers and salvage yards in particular to review e-mailed photographs of similar artworks to help identify the stolen artwork.
Montgomery County Police would again like to thank the members of the media who helped publicize this theft of art and believe that the exposure through the media aided them in identifying the suspect. Police would also like to caution owners of art works made of semi-precious metals that are displayed outside, that these metals are being targeted for thefts for their salvage value.