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PD: Man caught trying to steal $20,000 painting from Mesa auction

Derek Michael Begay.jpg
Posted at 1:13 PM, Jan 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-31 15:13:53-05

MESA, AZ — Mesa police say they caught a man attempting to steal a $20,000 painting during an auction.

Police report that on January 26 they caught 33-year-old Derek Michael Begay as he was leaving an auction with a stolen painting.

Police say Begay told auction workers the painting was of his grandfather and belonged to him and his family.

Begay was asked to leave the event at Center Street and University Drive several times.

He allegedly grabbed the painting and ran toward the door.

Police were able to catch him and make him give up the painting.

It later sold for $20,000.

Begay has been charged with theft and criminal trespassing.