Man arrested for stealing Ali Center painting reportedly said he - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Man arrested for stealing Ali Center painting reportedly said he thought it was a gift shop poster

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A signed Leroy Nieman watercolor of the "The Greatest" was ripped from the wall of the Muhammad Ali Center on Oct. 22.

Last week, 58-year-old Philadelphia area resident Gerald Garrett, the man believed to be in a photo caught on the museum's surveillance, was arrested for the theft.  

But, just-released court documents show Garrett admitted to his probation officer on Oct. 28, just six days after the crime, that he took the painting. That officer says Garrett first told him he thought the painting was a poster someone had bought in the gift shop and left behind.    

The officer says Garrett told him he put it in a mailbox in Kentucky, then later said he had it hidden in or near his Philadelphia area home.  

Garrett says that after speaking with his parole officer, he drove the painting to Virginia and tried to mail it back to the Ali Center.  

On Nov. 22, exactly one month after the theft, a Jefferson County Grand Jury indicted Garrett for theft by unlawful taking. Last Wednesday, U.S. Marshals arrested Garrett in Philadelphia.  

But, what's happened to the piece of art that once graced this wall is still a mystery.

Garrett is expected to be in Federal Court in Philadelphia next Tuesday. That involves violating his probation from a previous drug charge.

The terms of that probation barred him from leaving Pennsylvania.

Related Stories:

Man admitted stealing painting from Ali museum after touring center with five other men

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