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Meridian police still searching for art thief

By By Steve Gillespie/staff writer
Feb. 8, 2002
Bonnie Busbee still can't understand why someone would steal art worth $400 from her gallery a painting of clouds against a blue sky.
Meridian police are still looking for the person who took Busbee's painting on Tuesday and works from Riley Hospital and Trustmark National Bank on 23rd Avenue.
Detective Deano Harper, a spokesman for the Meridian Police Department, said police are seeking a black male suspect.
Harper said a more detailed description has ben hard to obtain from witnesses because the man wore a coat and hat. He said anyone with information can call CrimeStoppers at 485-1860.
Local artist Greg Cartmell loaned one of his works to Trustmark only to have it stolen last week from the bank's foyer. Cartmell was puzzled by the theft.
Cartmell's painting of race horse Supreme Asset measured 36 inches by 48 inches. A police report priced the painting at $20,000, but Cartmell said it was worth $11,000.
Jimmy Smith, manager and framer at Bonnie Busby Art Frame &Gallery, said the small, oil-on-board painting taken from his business was called "Aerial I." It measured 10 inches by 7 1/4 inches.
Smith said he noticed the painting was missing at the close of business Tuesday. "I knew it had been there around noon," he said.
Busbee began inventorying everything in her business since the theft.
Smith added that smaller and more expensive pieces of art in the shop have been moved to prevent them from being "picked up easily." He wondered why a person would steal a painting.