Boston University students catch alleged art gallery thief after Super Bowl

ABC News(BOSTON) -- A man who allegedly attempted to steal art from a Boston art gallery after the New England Patriots won Super Bowl LI was stopped by three Boston University students on their way home from celebrating the Patriots' win over the Atlanta Falcons.

"I yelled out to him, 'Hey what are you doing? Did you just take those?'" Mackenzie Thompson, one of the students, told ABC News. "And he turned around and once he saw us running after him he actually dropped the paintings and started to run away."

Thompson was walking down Boston's Newbury Street just after midnight on Feb. 6 when he and fellow students Chris Savino and Jesse Doe heard an alarm ringing and saw a person who looked suspicious exiting the Galerie d'Orsay art gallery.

The three students caught the suspect and held him until police arrived, authorities said.

Surveillance video taken inside Galerie d'Orsay shows the suspect using a brick and then his own hand to break in the front door after his attempts to kick the door down failed.

The suspect, identified by police as Jordan Russell Leishman, is then seen grabbing two pieces of artwork before he goes into a second room and grabs another two pieces.

"He comes into the second room, walks past the beautiful, $90,000 Picasso [and] instead grabs another small $1,800 [Joan] Miró," Camille Super, a fine art consultant at Galerie d'Orsay, told ABC News. "It didn't seem like he knew what he was doing."

The suspect walked out of the gallery with four paintings valued at nearly $21,000, according to the police report. The paintings were not damaged.

Leishman, 29, of New Hampshire, entered a not guilty plea in court on Wednesday. He is charged with breaking and entering, larceny over $250 and being a fugitive from justice due to a warrant in New Hampshire on a separate incident, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney's office.

Leishman, who remains in jail, is due back in court on March 20 for a pretrial hearing.

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