$2 million art thief recaptured after weeks on the run

By Elizabeth Binning

Escaped prisoner Anthony Ricardo Sannd, who stole a $2 million painting from the Auckland City Art Gallery in 1998, was last night recaptured after spending 27 days on the run.

Sannd, also known as Ricardo Genovese, was an inmate at Rangipo Prison and ran off on his first day of work at a prison farm on February 1.

The 55-year-old was serving close to 17 years for the 1998 aggravated robberies of a Waiuku bank, an Armourguard security van and for the theft of the James Tissot painting.

While on the run it is alleged Sannd stole a BMW and burgled a home in Onewhero.

Detective Senior Sergeant Neil Grimstone said police had been following several lines of inquiry yesterday in their hunt for Sannd.

About 6pm, the armed offenders squad surrounded a house in Pukekohe. Several firearms were found and Sannd, who is bald, was found wearing a wig that "looked like a cat without any legs".

Mr Grimstone said the wig was the same one that Sannd wore last Tuesday when he allegedly took a BMW for a test drive but failed to return it.

The BMW was found on Friday hidden on a farm in rural Onewhero, where Sannd has family.

Sannd is due to appear in the Pukekohe District Court today charged with escaping custody, stealing a vehicle and burglary.

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