Stolen art returned to artist year after theft - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Stolen art returned to artist year after theft

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LOUISVILLE, KY (WDRB) -- A drawing stolen from an ice cream shop is now back in the hands of its creator.

Inside the Comfy Cow on Frankfort Avenue, artist Mark Tabler is savoring a non-dairy treat he created. It's his drawing that's now back in his possession. The same drawing that was stolen a year ago from the Clifton ice cream shop.

"I guess I still have a lot of questions about how it got there. But I am pretty satisfied that it's back and that it's safe," said Mark Tabler during an interview with WDRB News.

It was last February, surveillance video showed what looked like a teenage boy take it off the wall and leave. The suspect was never caught. The stolen drawing Mark figured was gone.

"I was really surprised, and I was curious what shape it was in or how it ended up where it was," Tabler said.

Where it was ... was an apartment in New Albany, Indiana. Jackie Decker told WDRB News she was given the drawing almost six months ago when a neighbor in the next door apartment moved out. The apartment was left in a mess after a dispute between tenants, Decker said, and the woman who lived there said she could have the drawing.

"She liked it and she took it back and hung it in her house," said Tabler.

It stayed hung above Decker's bed for nearly six months, until last week, when she was watching an episode of the Antique Roadshow and began wondering if the drawing were worth anything.

"I looked it up on the internet and I found it right away on (Tabler's website). It said it was stolen from Comfy Cow and left a telephone number," Decker said.

Mark Tabler rushed over to retrieve the drawing and in return gave Jackie some of his latest prints as a 'thank you' gift.

"I was proud to give it back to him. I was disappointed that it was stolen. But it wasn't mine to keep."

Now back in the hands of its creator, Mark also has a prospective buyer.

"I hate to see it go again, but it's a good feeling knowing that someone wants to buy it," he said during an interview with WDRB News.

The buyer apparently liked the painting - but loved the story behind it even more.

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