Bust of Ben Franklin valued at $3M recovered
Just over a month after it was stolen from the suburban Pennsylvania home of George D’Angelo, a bust of statesman and founding father Benjamin Franklin has been recovered. Originally reported missing on Aug. 24, the bust, valued at over $3 million, was recovered in the possession of Mr. D'Angelo's former housekeeper, 46-year-old Andrea Lawton, as she stepped off a bus in Maryland.
Lawton, an Alabama native with prior burglary convictions in Pennsylvania, was turned in by a witness who claimed that Lawton was looking to sell the statue on the black market. In addition to the bust, the FBI has accused Lawton of the theft of, "a photograph of composer, cellist and conductor Victor August Herbert [as well as a] conductor's baton and some other items linked to Herbert, worth a total of $80,000." The conductor's picture is still unaccounted for, though authorities suspect that the piece may have been sold to a second hand shop.
Mr. D'Angelo has reported that the bust was damaged while in Lawton's possession, though he is unaware as to the extent.
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