Artist offers reward for return of stolen work



MILL CREEK, Wash. - An artist is offering a reward to the thieves that took his work off of a wall at a Mill Creek bar.


Chris Lont had his first month-long art show at Jet Bar in Mill Creek, where 13 of his 25 works have sold.


When Lont returned to the bar to collect the remaining pieces earlier in the month, one of his works was gone.


KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter Lee Stoll spoke with Lont who said the painting was part of his art show and repainting it could damage the value of his work.


“I have paintings that look similar, but none of them are exactly the same. That’s what prints are for,” said Lont. “This was the gem. It was a gem piece."


The bar’s owner, Steve Dorn, looked through surveillance video and saw a man pull the piece off the wall while his two friends looked out for the waitress. Then the man leaves the bar with the piece and comes back inside.


“It looks like they’re looking out to see if it’s clear here,” said Dorn. “With the future art shows coming up, I’m going to have to be real creative on how I bolt these pictures down now.”


Dorn has posted the video on Facebook and hopes someone will recognize the faces.


Lont said he’s mad the $900 piece is missing, but he’s also a bit proud.


“To think that someone would want a piece of mine that bad to steal it off a wall, and risk getting arrested for it, that’s cool. But also upset because it’s my favorite piece,” Lont said.


Lont is offering the thieves a reward for the return of his work, and will not press charges.


“I”ll give him a print of the painting if he likes it that much,” said Lont.


Lont said he can repaint the piece, but prides himself on his works being originals and he doesn’t want to make a duplicate.


A police report was filed on Friday.