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News Release

Monday, August 16, 1999

Media Relations

Art Theft Suspects Arrested

Monday, August 16, 1999

On 8/13/99, a museum art thief was convicted of thefts of fine art from two Los Angeles museums. Nureet Granott, 50, used a fake driver's license, a fraudulent credit card, and fictitious rental agreement information to gain control of over $22,000 of art through the art rental galleries of the UCLA/Armand Hammer Museum of Art and the L.A. County Museum of Art in 1995. She then disappeared with the art until detectives of LAPD's Art Theft Detail uncovered her true identity and tracked her down three years later at her fashionable home in Beverly Hills where she was using the art to decorate the house.  

During the investigation, the detectives uncovered a pattern of fraudulent practices that were facilitated through the use of various names, business DBAs and anonymous mail box addresses. These were used to fleece others for an estimated $100,000 in goods and services - from a luxury car to pet bills. During the museum thefts, Granott assumed the identity of her sister, Hanit Peretz, who is living in Israel. During many of the transactions, Granott was accompanied by her husband, David Yehuda Cohen. Both are also suspected of being involved in questionable real estate transactions. During the search warrant, detectives noted the personalized license plate of their vehicle to be "EARN BIG."

    During Granott's arrest, the Art Theft Detail noted $100,000 in art that was decorating the suspects' house and later learned that some of these had been stolen from LACMA. However, this was unknown to the detectives at the time because LACMA had never reported the theft. Although museum personnel later recognized photos of the suspects and some of their stolen property from an art bulletin sent to them by detectives, the police were not made aware of the theft until an artist who viewed one of the bulletins, recognized one of his artworks and informed the police that it had been stolen from the museum. As a result, the detectives were able to recover all of the art stolen from LACMA. The art is still in police custody.

    Granott pled guilty to four felony counts of grand theft. DDA Kevin Young (213-974-3727) requested jail time for the defendant, however Granott was sentenced to 90 days house arrest, 5 years felony probation, and restitution to various victims.

    For additional information, contact the Art Theft Detail at 213-485-2524.

    Additional: Granott and Cohen were featured on a past segment of the TV show Hard Copy on an unrelated crime as alleged victims of an arson attempt murder.

For Release 1:00 pm PDT
August 16, 1999