Tourist art thief arrested

STACEY KIRK
Last updated 09:08 21/03/2013
Queenstown Police

This woman captured on CCTV stealing a piece of art from Arrowtown Museum has been caught

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A woman who brazenly walked into a museum in Arrowtown and walked out again with an artwork she took off the wall has been arrested.

Queenstown police said news and social media coverage yesterday lead to the women being tracked down in Te Anau.

She was an English tourist, travelling the South Island on a bus trip.

CCTV footage captured the woman wander into the Lakes District Museum and Art Gallery on March 18.

She immediately began touching other artworks before pulling one off the wall, folding it up, and putting it into a bag.

The woman had made off with a handmade quilt, made out of vintage Japanese silks and brocades.

A spokeswoman for the Lakes District Museum and Art Gallery, said the artwork was by Queenstown textile artist Alison Naylor.

"We were selling it at a price of $625," she said.

Although footage from inside the museum appeared to show the woman wearing a blue coat, the coat she was wearing was actually brown.

Police said the woman would be returning to England tomorrow.

"She was arrested at Te Anau on Wednesday night after visiting Milford Sound and has paid reparation."

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