Man and woman steal art in brazen theft caught on video in Toronto
An appalling surveillance video shows a brazen theft that took place at a dispensary in Toronto last week, and the crime has put the hurt on a local Toronto artist.
The theft occurred at Green Merchant Cannabis Boutique in Liberty Village, which is located at 139G Jefferson Avenue.
Angelica Liu, the Chief Operating Officer at Green Merchant, posted the shocking video on the Liberty Village Residents Association Facebook page, and asked the public for their help in identifying the man and woman seen in the clip.
"We need some help to identify this couple. They've taken a piece of artwork that belongs to a local artist without payment," Liu wrote. "The artist spent many hours on creating this piece. If you know them, please reach out to me. We don't want to shame anyone, just to get them to compensate the artist directly for the work they took."
In the video, the duo is seen leaving the store with a bag in hand, when all of a sudden, the man is seen grabbing the piece of art and leaving the store.
Brazen art theft in Toronto caught on video #Toronto pic.twitter.com/D6hWWu2a3N— blogTO (@blogTO) February 27, 2023
According to Liu, the two didn't raise any red flags when they first came into the store, and actually made a purchase during their visit.
"I'm just so surprised to see somebody actually making a purchase and then stealing," Liu told blogTO.
The theft occurred on Thursday, Feb. 23 around 9:22 p.m., and staff at the dispensary discovered that the $600 artwork was missing shortly after. This led to employees reviewing the surveillance footage, and deciding to file a police report the next day.
According to Liu, the piece of art was part of the dispensary's artist marketplace, where local artists are allowed to post their work for free in the store in hopes of getting more exposure and customers to buy directly.
Artist Shak, who runs the Instagram page @photoswithshak, is the talent behind the stolen piece of artwork. Although the whole ordeal made him very upset, Shak told blogTO it showed him the power of support within the city's arts community.
"I'm glad that it's getting exposure and I'm glad that people are supporting the Toronto art community," he said of the incident.
The artwork was part of Shak's photography series on the legalization of marijuana in Canada. The local artist said the piece was an homage to the country and the happiness people felt during this time.
"I was very sad when it happened, I'm very grateful that it's getting this exposure," Shak said. "There's a lot of thoughts about the Toronto arts community not being very supportive, and it's not true. My experience has been completely different."
Anyone with information about the duo is asked to contact Angelica Liu at the Green Merchant.
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