Mark Lugo, the loafer-wearing thief who strolled out of a Union Square art gallery with a Picasso sketch under his arm only to be busted by Lefty O'Doul's, pled guilty to the crime in a San Francisco court yesterday. Lugo apparently spent the past four months in jail getting himself cleaned up for his day in court, he showed up clean-shaven and well-coifed to accept a plea deal that dismissed burglary and excessive theft charges in exchange for admitting to grand theft for swiping Picasso's "Tête de Femme" from the Weinstein Gallery downtown.
Lugo, who you'll remember was formerly a sommelier for a few high-profile New York restaurants, was also wanted back on the East Coast for another $500,000 worth of stolen art found in his apartment in Hoboken. Not to mention the $2,000 bottles of Chateau Petrus Pomerol he nicked from a well-known New Jersey wine shop. Lugo gets shipped back to New York to face those charges at the end of November.
Lugo originally pled not guilty to the charges, despite being caught on tape with the sketch under his arm, claiming the whole thing had been "blown out of proportion." And speaking of blowing things, no one is mentioning all those drugs he had on him at the time of his arrest.
Roland Weinstein, proprietor of the violated gallery, told the Chronicle he plans to put the sketch back on display.
Previously: Casual Picasso Thief Had a Soft Spot for Cubism, Fine Wines, All Picasso Thief coverage on SFist