A Mafia Connection and an Arrest
After avoiding police, Durham and Bieslijn began work to sell the paintings. Selling looted art is notoriously difficult, given that it can’t appear on the open market, and as they found, underground deals have their own risks.
For instance, one person to whom Durham tried to sell the painting was shot and murdered on the day of the arranged sale, in a killing unrelated to the works of art. Another buyer, Raffaele Imperiale, a chief of the Camorra crime family, was identified for reportedly paying €350,000 for the paintings in March of 2003. He sent the works to Italy shortly after purchasing them, while Durham and his accomplice blew through the profits in six weeks.
The thieves’ extravagant spending tipped off police who were already on their trail, and had wiretapped their phones. When officers went to Durham’s house, he escaped by climbing up the side of his building; in the process he earned the nickname “the Monkey.” In December of 2003, cops caught up with Durham at a Spanish resort town and matched his DNA with that of a baseball cap left behind at the museum.