Surveillance footage catches three suspects stealing $10K art piece from store

DENVER — Three suspects were caught on camera leading a store employee to the back of a store before running to the front door, grabbing merchandise, and running out. One of the items they got away with was a glass-blown art piece that is also a smoking pipe, valued at around $10,000. 

Chad Medlin, gallery manager of Rigs 4 Us, was working alone at the store Thursday around 7:15 p.m. when a group of young men walked in. They started to look around the store and asked him to take an item out of a display case, he said. As he opened the door of the case, which is toward the back corner of the store, the three suspects ran toward the front, grabbed a few items and left.

Medlin said he heard them run to the door and dashed after them, but didn’t know which direction they had fled.

After checking the store, he determined that the suspects had stolen a few small items, as well as an art piece valued at $10,000. Medlin said the artist, Jonathan Faltemeier, had spent more than 100 hours creating the piece.

"It really hurts to lose a piece like this," Faltemeier told Denver7. "It's hard to put a price on something that comes from the soul."

A Denver Police Department spokesman said officers responded to the scene around 7:35 p.m. and confirmed that three unidentified people took merchandise and fled the store in an unknown direction. The crime lab responded to the scene as well and recorded fingerprints and DNA evidence.

Anybody with information on this crime or the suspects can call Denver police at 720-913-2000. Those wanting to stay anonymous can call Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-9213-7867 or text “DMCS” to 274637. All calls and texts are anonymous. Successful tipsters can earn up to $2,000.

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