LOS ANGELES -- A prominent art collector who reported 11 original silk screen paintings by Andy Warhol stolen from his Los Angeles home has waived the insurance policy he owns to protect the art.
Richard L. Weisman said he couldn't take the thought of insurance investigators poring through his records and questioning family and friends.
"They turn you into a suspect," Weisman told the Seattle Times. "I just finally told them, 'I'm not going to go through it for three to five years. Forget it. ... That's the only reason, and it's a good enough reason."
Police Detective Mark Sommer says Weisman has been difficult to track down.
"It is curious," Sommer said. "We'd like to talk to him about it."
The missing paintings were discovered by the family's longtime nanny at Weisman's Los Angeles home Sept. 3. Weisman was in Seattle at the time.
Police said there was no forced entry, a home alarm system was not on, and other valuable works of art were left untouched. There are no suspects in the case.
"Everything in the house was untouched, there wasn't even an ashtray overturned," Weisman told the Seattle Times.
Ten of the 40-inch-square portraits - believed to be worth at least $1 million apiece - feature famous athletes of the 1970s, including Muhammad Ali, Jack Nicklaus, Pele and Dorothy Hamill. The other is of Weisman himself, likely a commissioned portrait.
According to a catalog of Warhol's work, Weisman commissioned the artist in 1977 to create the portraits of iconic sports figures. Other portraits in the collection include golfer Jack Nicklaus, figure skater Dorothy Hamil, Kareem Abdul Jabbar and and Major League Baseball pitcher Tom Seaver.
Weisman said he got to know Warhol when he was working as an investment banker in New York in the early 1970s.
It's not known exactly how much the collection is worth, but Weisman tried to sell it in 2002 for $3 million.
A neighbor saw a maroon van in the driveway of Weisman's home around the time of the robbery, and police are seeking more information about that.
Weisman stood to recoup $25 million for the art.
Anyone with any information regarding this theft was urged to call the Los Angeles Police Department's Art Theft Detail at (213) 485-2524 or 1-877-LAPD-24-7.
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