Reporting Maria Medina
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A Sacramento artist’s one-of-a-kind sculptures were stolen after her studio was broken into three times.
The thefts left her in tears, and now she’s offering a reward for their safe return.
However, the sculptures are missing a very key piece that gives them any value, the artist’s signature. It’s likely the crooks thought they’d gotten away with some expensive artwork because they kept coming back for more.
“It has value to me that I can’t even begin to explain,” said Camille Vandenberge.
To Vanderberge, her art is her life, her love and livelihood.
One night a couple weeks ago she discovered some of the life-size sculptures were gone.
“The ripped the door off of this building and hauled the work off, out into here, out into the parking lot,” said Vanderberge.
She says thieves broke into her studio and storage unit on J Street, and got away with tools.
“We boarded it all up and nailed it,” said Vanderberge.
But the sticky-fingered thieves came back a second time to steal two sculptures; and then, they came back again. This time, her friend spotted three men as they hauled more ceramic sculptures away.
“He caught them in the act, yelled out, and they dropped one of my pieces that broke into many pieces on the ground,” said Vanderberge.
While she says her art is valuable to her, it’s worthless to the thieves. The work is unfinished and unsigned. That keeps the thieves from selling them and cashing in.
Otherwise, she says, they would be worth thousands. One of the pieces stolen is a 5-foot-6-inch tall blonde woman wearing a dress with a leaf in her hand and a very large head with two elephants on the top.
Vanderberge says her art is how she makes her money, but that’s not why she wants them returned, no questions asked.
“All of that aside, and money aside, I just want to finish them,” said Vanderberge. “I wanna finish them.”
Vanderberge is offering a reward for her art. She’s asking that whoever has her works, drop them off near her studio.
Police say a couple has tried selling her sculptures to a local antique shop.