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Thief walks off with St. James Hotel’s 19th century painting, doesn’t get far

An employee saw the theft, and police soon arrested a man and returned the painting.

It was no “Thomas Crown Affair.

A thief took a 19th century painting off  the wall the St. James Hotel in Red Wing about 12:30 a.m. Saturday and walked out the  door, says the Red Wing Republican Eagle.

An employee apparently observed the brazen theft and called police. Officers from nearby Lake City arrested the suspect soon after.

The painting, “Portrait of a Young Woman in a White Dress,” is now back at the hotel.

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The oil on canvas painting is unsigned, and the author is unknown. It had been hanging in the hotel’s library, near the main lobby and front desk.

Hotel officials said the painting had been appraised about 10 years ago at $3,500.

Charges are pending.