The Art of the Heist
Confessions of a Master Art Thief, Rock-and-Roller, and Prodigal Son
Publication Date: May 2009
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From New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, to the Smithsonian Institution in D.C., to Boston's Museum of Fine Art, to dozens of regional museums throughout the United States, no museum was off-limits to legendary art thief Myles Connor. He has used every technique in the book, from breaking and entering, to cat burglary, to false identities and elaborate con jobs. He once even grabbed a Rembrandt off a wall in broad daylight and simply ran like hell. His IQ is at genius level, and his charm is legendary. The fact that he was in jail at the time of the famous robbery of the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum—which remains the largest art theft in American history—has not stopped the FBI from considering him a top suspect in that still unsolved robbery.
How did the son of a decorated policeman grow up to become one of Boston's most notorious criminals? How did he survive a decades-long feud with the Boston police and the FBI? How did he manage to escape one jail sentence with a simple fake gun carved out of soap? How did he trade the return of a famous Rembrandt in exchange for early release from another sentence?
The Art of the Heist is a roller-coaster ride of a life, by a man who was drawn to misadventure at every turn. As a promising young rock star, Myles Connor started collecting Japanese swords and weapons. Soon his collection expanded through less than legitimate means, and his education in European masters and modern artists accelerated. Disguised as an art collector, he spent time in the archives of museums far and wide, and visited after hours to take advantage of what he learned by day.
Along the way, he robbed banks, warehouses, trailers, and estate homes. He engaged in rooftop shootouts with the police. He walked the streets of Boston in disguise while dozens of policemen were out searching for him. The Art of the Heist is part confession, part thrill ride, and impossible to put down.
Myles J. Connor grew up in Milton, Massachusetts, the son of a decorated policeman. During the 1960s and '70s he was the leader of a successful Boston rock-and-roll band, Myles and the Wild Ones. He robbed his first museum when he was twenty years old. Shortly after, he gained notoriety for his daring escape from a Maine jail, and for his involvement in a dramatic shoot-out with Boston police. Connor has planned and executed numerous bank robberies and museum heists, several of which are told here for the first time.
“From his daring 1965 jail break at age 22 to his legendary career pilfering treasures from museums all over New England, Connor’s life is the stuff of adventure novels.”
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)