Over $20K in art stolen from Park City Festival


PARK CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – Thieves target the 47th annual Kimball Arts Festival and get away with over $20,000 in art.

Police say sometime between 1am and 6am Sunday a person, or group of people, burglarized seven booths. Two of the items stolen were hand-carved wooden chairs valued at $11,000. 

“I found out about it as I was walking down the street this morning 39 back to my booth someone had some chairs stolen,” said Ron Benoit of Woodensound Fine Woodworking.

They weren’t Benoit’s chairs, but the artist in the booth next to his. Along with the two chairs, several art pieces and a handmade jacket were stolen. A sculpture was also vandalized.

“I’ve been doing art show for 18 years and I never had that experience,” said Benoit.  “I’ve never heard of any one losing anything of that magnitude. Small items had been pilfered, but no one came in the middle of the night and hauled off large items that’s worth over $10,000.” 

The Kimball Arts Festival has been working closely with police, as have local businesses to find the person or people responsible.

Sgt. Rob McKinney with the Park City Police Department told Good4Utah, “Our investigators are working on a couple of promising leads. We’re working with local businesses to look at surveillance. A couple of the items were so large they would have have to have been moved by a vehicle.”  

Benoit said, “My guess is someone pulled in with a truck or a van right down here and then they cased it out during the day and seen maybe what they had in mind and just ran in real quick while security was at the other end of the show, grabbed them and threw them in the back of the truck and took off. Apparently they had enough time to look through the other booths too.” 

The Kimball Arts Festival hires outside security to watch over the booths overnight, but  ultimately it’s up to the artists to ensure their work is protected. 

“I don’t have insurance for my pieces at the show, they’re covered when I’m transporting them in my trailer , but my insurance carrier wouldn’t touch it while I’m at the show,” explained Benoit. “So we’re at our own risk. When you do an art show like this you sign a disclaimer saying you hold them blameless in the event of theft or loss.” 

Park City Police say it’s possible the wooden chairs will be recovered. The artist, Kevin Des Planques, told police this was his first show in Utah and that he has not sold any chairs to customers from Utah. 

If you have any information regarding this incident, or come across these items, you’re asked to contact Detective Jeremy Eaton at (435) 615-5500.

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