Man Arrested for Pawning Takashi Murakami Ring Stolen During Basel '08

Categories: Crime
murakamiring.jpg
The work of playful Japanese pop artist Takashi Murakami, who has collaborated on everything from a colorful collection of Louis Vuitton bags to Kanye West videos, is always a big hit at Art Basel Miami Beach. His popularity also makes his works susceptible to theft, and a $72,500 one-of-a-kind ring designed by the artist went missing at the Delano's Florida Room during a party concluding Basel week in 2008. Now police have made an arrest after the ring popped up in a South Beach pawn shop more than two years later.

BlackBook's John Hood reports the platinum and diamond skull ring, which features two of Murakami's iconic smiling daisies set in the eyes, showed up in the window of Costa de Oro, a South Beach pawn shop, for the low, low price of $6,000.

David Tamargo, art director at the World Erotic Art Museum, which is located in the same building as Costa de Oro, saw the ring purely by chance one day and immediately recognized it as the handiwork of Murakami.

"The shop owner told me he wanted $6,000 for the ring," Tamargo told Hood. "Six thousand dollars! I couldn't believe it! It was then that I knew something was wrong. So I immediately went upstairs and called Murakami's New York office to tell them what I'd found."

Tamargo didn't get an immediate response, and fearing that the ring could slip into the wrong hands, decided to buy it himself.

In the meantime, Miami-Dade Police Det. Pete Rodriguez had caught wind of the case.

Costa del Oro provided Rodriguez with the information of the man who had pawned it, and an arrest was made within days.

[BlackBook: Takashi Murakami Ring Recovered in South Beach Pawn Shop]

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10 comments
online pawn shop
online pawn shop

I think If you need cash in  a short time, you can contact the pawnshop owner for a loan on any item. Keep in mind interest rate is also applied.

Xthartofatrendx
Xthartofatrendx

This was supposed to be a happy story, simple and just. Ring gets stolen. Ring gets recovered. Thief gets nabbed. Natural order is restored. Since the ring happened to be a rare, one-of-a-kind artwork from Takeshi Murakami, and that the theft happened during Art Basel, made it a story well worth telling. That the recovery took place in a pawn shop some two years later, just days before the ring was to be scrapped, and was only made possible by the keen eye of a certain David Tamargo, gave it a serendipitous slant -- not to mention a storybook ending. Then the tale took turns no one could have envisioned.1diggdigg

First was the unequivocal “No Comment” from Murakami’s Kaikai Kiki studio, when by rights they should’ve been thanking their lucky stars the $72,500 ring was recovered. Then, as I reported Monday, it became clear that the bejeweled piece apparently wasn’t stolen from The Florida Room after all, but from the site of Basel satellite Design Miami, and rumor has it someone was paid a large chunk of change to keep mum. Worse, when Tamargo popped into Kaikai Kiki over Armory week in New York, he not only wasn’t thanked for what he’d so nobly done, but he was summarily booted from the studio.

Now I’ve learned that Kaikai Kiki has elected not to press charges, despite the due diligence of pawn shop owner Angel Parets and Miami Beach Police Department Detective Pete Rodriguez, who had a suspect in custody within 48 hours of the ring’s discovery. One would’ve thunk that Kaikai Kiki would be only to eager to prosecute; teach those crooks a hard lesson.

But don’t think for a moment that this case is closed. As the good Detective wrote last week when I asked for a copy of the original police report:

“The case is not closed as of yet due to my search for the actual thief of the ring has not concluded. The person who pawned the ring purchased or obtained the ring from another person. I am still looking for that person. I will advise you when the person is located.”

Now, I don’t know about you, but if I were the culprit and I saw that a dogged detective was dogging me, I’d be a little nervous. Granted, Kaikai Kiki’s inexplicable move leaves the cops without much leverage and makes the case more difficult to pursue. Yet that hasn’t seemed to have deterred Detective Rodriguez. Nor has it deterred me. If anything it only makes me even more curious about Kaikai Kiki’s actions—and of their motive.

Frankly I couldn’t care less whether Kaikai Kiki filed a false police report (if indeed they did) or even if they’d paid off someone to keep it on the QT (if indeed they did that too). I’m no goody two-shoes; far from it. And I’m a firm believer in letting folks do what they’ve gotta do. But when what they do impacts a pal of mine, well, then I get cranky, and I get curious, and then I get to work. Had Kaikai Kiki simply said “Thank You” to the man who saved the ring from oblivion, I’d have left it at that. Had they gone on and offered Tamargo a reward, I’d have sung their praises from here to proverbial eternity. I mean, Tamargo went well out of his way to behave righteously. And all he got for his trouble was the pointed heel of a very obtuse boot. Why so kooky, Kaikai Kiki?

-courtesy blackbookmag.com

Joe
Joe

At least 1 honest person out there.

fairportfan
fairportfan

"And I'd'dve gotten away with it, too..."

JJ
JJ

Finding the ring, being able to identify it, calling the Japanese artist's gallery, getting blown-off, then scraping up 6K to buy it before it would be shipped out, not for the intention of keeping the ring, which many Miamians would've done; Tamargo is the hero of this amazing tale. Any cop could've made the arrest. This story has wings. Someone should pick it up....

David Josef Tamargo
David Josef Tamargo

Just doing what's right. It almost ended up overseas and probably lost forever.

John Hood
John Hood

Cane's right. The ring had been pawned months ago, and had Tamargo not stumbled upon it, it would've been gone with the proverbial wind. The subsequent arrest though was made possible by MBPD Detective Pete Rodriguez and pawn shop owner Angel Parets, who worked together to track down and nab the culprit.

Cane
Cane

Trying to Pawn? Sounds like he did pawn it and would have gotten away with it if it wasn't for Tamargo

Scooby
Scooby

if it wasn't for those dang meddling kids . . .

My Hero
My Hero

Awesome man! You have just increased your karma..:)

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