On 6 August 2015 the FBI launched a fresh appeal for witnesses to help recover thirteen paintings stolen in 1990 from Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. The value of the stolen works is estimated at $500 million.
On 18 March 1990, contrary to procedure, a night-guard named Richard Abath allowed two men disguised as police officers to enter the museum’s premises after they claimed to be investigating a complaint. The next day the police found him and another member of the museum’s security tied up and gagged. Amongst the thirteen major works stolen were a Rembrandt, a Manet, a Degas and a Vermeer. New studies of the security footage by the FBI have shown that Richard Abath also let another man into the museum compound the day before the robbery. The pictures released from the video seem to indicate a resemblance between the car used by the man who entered the day before the heist and the car used by the fake policemen. The FBI has requested the public’s help to solve the case.
Meanwhile, the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum has offered a reward of $5 million to anyone with decisive information leading to the recovery of the paintings. The FBI has looked into the possible complicity of Richard Abath but it seems they are not pursuing this line of investigation.