The Parable of a Wine Steward Turned Art Thief

Sure, it looks innocent ...
Sure, it looks innocent ... Photo: MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images

It’s easy to see how a high-end job like wine-stewarding would give a person high-end tastes. So high-end, in the case of onetime wine-slinger Mark Lugo, that he took to snatching art from restaurants and hotels on both coasts — presumably to keep up with the Joneses in Hoboken, where he hung the works on the walls of his apartment. It was his theft of a sketch by the Cubist painter Fernand Léger from the lobby of the Carlyle Hotel in New York that did Lugo in. He confessed to taking the drawing this week and now faces one to three years in prison. So watch out: That bottle of burgundy could very well be a gateway drug to the high life, even one you can’t afford. [NYT]