Two weeks ago James Rogers, an Albuquerque, N.M., burglary investigator who is an art buff, was browsing in an art gallery there when he discovered a painting that had been reported stolen from a Fairfax County antique dealer.
Rogers' discovery and the subsequent recovery of other stolen antiques, police say, has led to the arrest of four men, including the son of the Fairfax County antique dealer, in connection with a theft ring suspected of stealing antiques from homes in suburban Washington and New York and selling them in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, N.M., Dallas and here.
According to Armonk, N.Y., police, Kevin Stromach, 22, of Albuquerque was arrested early yesterday in Westchester County, N.Y., on a fugitive warrant from Fairfax County.
Stromach has been charged with armed robbery, assault and illegal use of a firearm in connection with the April 19 robbery at the home of his father, John Stromach, an antique dealer who operates a shop at Thieves Market south of Alexandria, police said.
According to investigator Fred Coup of the Armonk police, Stromach is also charged with burglary in connection with the theft of an antique lap shade and mirror from a home in the Armonk area on April 16.
Coup said the lamp shade, valued at $1,500, was recovered at Sloan's Auctioneers here. He said the antique mirror has not been recovered.
Police said the antiques stolen from Stromach included paintings, firearms, furniture, Tiffany lamps, clocks and urns. The antiques are valued at more than $100,000.
Fairfax County police said half of the stolen property has been recovered in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Dallas and New York.
Armonk police said Eugene Brazee, 27, of Armonk has been arrested in connection with the Fairfax robbery. Also, Albuquerque police said they have arrested two men on stolen property charges.