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Local art collector’s paintings stolen in home break-in

TUCSON — Step into James Bennett’s Tucson home and you feel like you’re walking into an exhibit of a long-ago era.

Salvador Dali’s painting line the walls. Dinosaur bones can be seen in the living room and an elephant’s teeth have a home on the kitchen table.

“I’m trying to create my own little home museum of things that I enjoy looking at,” Bennett said. “I love things from the dinosaur period, I love artwork.”

A few weeks ago, Bennett’s home was broken into. He came home from work one night in late July only to find a broken window and four pieces of art stolen from his collection.

A thief lifted three paintings created by child prodigy Kieron Williamson of England.

“It’s violating to have somebody come into your house and steal from you,” Bennett said. “The Pima County Sheriff’s Department is on the case. Three of four paintings were recently recovered.”

Bennett is offering a $1,000 reward to anyone who can help him get the fourth precious painting back.

“Get an alarm on your house,” Bennett said. “I have an alarm. I forgot to turn it on. I made a mistake. I was in a hurry, out the door and the one time I don’t turn the alarm on, someone’s broken in,” he said.

If you have any information that can help detectives in this case, call the Pima County Sheriff’s Department or 88-CRIME.

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Eric Fink

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