Unlimited Access. Try it Today! Your First 10 Days Always $0.99
OC Blog Travel news and tips about Ocean City, Maryland
Travel OC Blog

Portrait of Dunes Manor founder stolen from O.C. hotel lobby

Perhaps it was a prank or a desire for an unique Ocean City souvenir, but either way, a portrait of the founder of the Dunes Manor Hotel that hung in the lobby is missing and the hotel wants it back.

Police said the hotel reported the theft of the painting depicting Dunes Manor founder Thelma Conner early Sunday morning. The picture went missing sometime during the night, around 3 a.m., when a hotel security guard noticed it was gone.

Conner, who founded the Victorian-style hotel in 1987 at the age of 74, is a beloved figure in Ocean City. She was known for her Texas twang and her tea-time tradition. She died in 1999.

The portrait hung next to a similar one of Conner's husband, Milton Conner, who passed away before the hotel opened.

Dunes Manor said that while they don't have a specific value for the painting, the sentimental value is huge. Kyle Johnson, the hotel's general manager, said the hotel staff was deeply upset by the theft.

"For us, it's basically irreplaceable. Priceless," said Johnson. "It will be hard to get a new one or duplicate it."

He said the hotel conducted a thorough search of the property but turned up few clues to the missing artwork, which was not secured with any anti-theft devices.

"We haven't had this kind of problem before," Johnson said, adding that the portrait of Conner's husband has been moved from the wall to a secure spot. "We think it's a single incident."

The portrait itself is sizeable at about 30-by-40 inches without the frame, said Johnson, making it difficult to transport or hide. "We're hoping that somebody will contact us and want to return it or has information about where it could be."

Police said they are investigating but there was no surveillance footage available and so far, they have no suspects.

"It is quite odd. It [the painting] would only really be valuable to the hotel," said a police spokeswoman.

Voted the best hotel in Ocean City in The Sun's "Best of OC" awards, Dunes Manor has undergone some recent renovations but not the painting, which had hung in the lobby for almost 20 years.

"A lot of people have worked here for a long time, so it really hurts,"Johnson said. "It's a family-owned hotel, so it's been tough."

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Carnival Pride takes it first trip out of Baltimore after hiatus
    Carnival Pride takes it first trip out of Baltimore after hiatus

    The massive Carnival Pride cruise liner docked at the port of Baltimore just before sunrise Sunday for the first time in five months, ending a hiatus created when new air standards sent the ship looking for new digs.

  • Dancing in the waters of Iguazu Falls
    Dancing in the waters of Iguazu Falls

    IGUAZU FALLS, Brazil (AP) — From above, the Iguazu Falls resemble a massive hole punched in a river and surrounded by jungle. Spray from the falls douses the nearby viewing areas where some tourists don rain ponchos while others take off their shirts and dance and hug in the drenching...

  • National parks call on Americans to 'Find Your Park'
    National parks call on Americans to 'Find Your Park'

    After nearly 100 years, the National Park Service holds some of the country's most beautiful and historic places, though it also suffers from an $11 billion backlog of unfunded maintenance and a visitor base that's aging and mostly white.

  • Spring break through the years
    Spring break through the years

    Can you believe it's March already? That means Spring Break. Check out Spring Break images from Daytona Beach to South Florida to Cancun and beyond.

  • How to get the big picture while photographing D.C.
    How to get the big picture while photographing D.C.

    "I want to make you the boss of your camera," says E. David Luria to the five budding photographers gathered around him in Lafayette Park across from the White House.

  • From James Bond to a smuggler's hangout, Bahamian chain has it all
    From James Bond to a smuggler's hangout, Bahamian chain has it all

    The Exumas, composed of 360 beautiful islands stretching 130 miles along the northeastern edge of the Grand Bahamas Bank, provide a rich and unique sand and sea vacation experience. And with only a handful of resorts and charter companies, it's mostly unspoiled islands and empty beaches.

Comments
Loading