San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Thieves make off with $300,000 in works by famed Costa Rica artist

Art thieves may be once again targeting works by one of Costa Rica’s most famous artists.

On Saturday night, thieves made off with nearly $300,000 in stolen paintings and sculptures from a private residence in San Pedro, east of the capital.

The Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) reported on Monday evening that the thieves stole six paintings by artist Rafa Fernández and three sculptures by Holgar Villegas valued at $300,000, along with some jewelry.

According to the OIJ, the burglars deactivated the home’s alarm, entered through a pedestrian gate and broke in the front door. 

This is not the first time works by Fernández have been targeted by art thieves. In 2011, the OIJ investigated a rash of thefts involving the famous Tico artist’s works. The stolen works have resurfaced in innocent buyers’ homes and private art galleries, as previously reported by The Tico Times.

Some buyers may not be so innocent, however. OIJ Director Francisco Segura told The Tico Times in 2011 that some buyers likely know that their prized possessions are stolen.

The Costa Rica Country Club in Escazú, southwest of San José, hosted an exhibition of works by Fernández, 78, on Sept. 5.

The authorities request the public call the confidential tip line, 800-8000-645, with any information about the whereabouts of the works. 

Contact Zach Dyer at

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