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Stolen painting returned to Etherton Gallery

TUCSON- A painting stolen from the Etherton Gallery downtown is returned.

It was taken two weeks ago, and the suspect was caught on camera.

Tucson police said he is 44-year-old, Phillip Castro.

Daphne Srinivasan works at the gallery and told News 4 Tucson, on Wednesday, Castro returned to the gallery asking them for a receipt for the painting.

She said, she and two other staff members immediately recognized him.  One of them called Tucson police, while the others kept Castro occupied.  Srinivasan said they treated him as they would a client and kept looking for his information.  At one point, they asked for his driver’s license which he immediately gave them.

Tucson police arrived, and waited until he was alone in the gallery, they told staff members to leave the area.  She said Police spoke to Castro and walked with him downstairs and out to the parking lot.

Police told News 4 Tucson, Castro was arrested and charged with one count of shoplifting.

He was taken before a judge who released him.

In the meantime, police called the gallery and told them the stolen art would be brought back.

The oil painting, titled:  Freedom from Fear: Reprisal is valued at $1,500. The artist, Cheryl Berech was immediately contacted and was very happy the painting had been returned.

The artwork is part of a traveling exhibit that celebrates the 60th anniversary of the ACLU in Arizona.

The exhibit will remain at Etherton Gallery until Saturday.  It then travels to the Arizona History Museum at the University of Arizona.

Terry Etherton, the owner of the gallery told News 4 Tucson, he is pleased to have the painting returned, and was very appreciative of the Tucson Police Department and his staff.

He also said police told him Castro is no longer allowed to return to the gallery.



Caitlin Alexander

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