One of my guilty pleasure TV shows of last year was USA’s White Collar about an FBI agent who partners with a debonaire former art thief to solve upscale crimes. It always struck me as a pretty preposterous premise, but Virginia Hefferman’s NYT story about former art thief turned blogger “Turbo Paul” reminded me of it:
What happened, exactly? Turbo Paul directed me to an April news story: a man named Graham Harkin had indeed been arrested and charged for the theft of a 17th-century Thomas Tompion ebony clock, valued at $292,000, from a historic home in the northwest of England. Turbo Paul connected some dots: the reader who asked about the investigation, he claimed, was Harkin himself. “Now transpires, Harkin was trying to get advice from Art Hostage before he was caught with the clock,” he wrote. Turbo Paul could have scuppered the undercover operations by replying to Harkin, he stressed, but he hadn’t.
The whole piece is great Sunday paper reading. Hardly the news you need to know, but interesting, entertaining, and informative.