Instead of showing their works at the World Fantasy Convention this weekend in downtown Baltimore, an artist couple found themselves searching alleys and trash bins for the nearly two dozen framed oil paintings of fantasy characters reported stolen from a delivery truck.
"We were devastated and all but missed out on the convention that featured many of the country's best fantasy artists," said VTC Don Maitz of Sarasota, Fla., who arrived Thursday with his wife, Janny Wurts, to set up their 23 oil paintings on Masonite.
Yesterday evening, they flew home fearing that part of their life's work would be discarded or sold on a street corner.
They offered a $500 reward for the paintings, which Mr. Maitz said carried no price tags because they were not for sale. "They're not even insured," he said.
Mr. Maitz said Federal Express was to have delivered the paintings to the downtown Marriott Hotel on Thursday, a day before the convention. He said a Federal Express driver reported to company authorities that when he returned to the truck at Redwood and South Paca streets Thursday afternoon after making a delivery, a black crate on wheels was missing. Mr. Maitz said a sticker on the crate read, "Weird Load."
The driver reported that someone had tampered with the lock.