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Rare Salvador Dalí Work Stolen From Fine Art Gallery In San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- A rare and famous etching by Salvador Dalí was quickly stolen from a San Francisco art gallery on Sunday.

Suspected Dali Thief In San Francisco
Photo: Surveillance Footage from Handlery Hotel

The theft took place at about 4:30 p.m. when the piece was taken from Dennis Rae Fine Art at 351 Geary Street. Rasjad Hopkins, an employee who was alone in the gallery when the theft occurred, said the piece was on an easel in the front of the gallery.

When Hopkins turned away from the easel momentarily, the work was gone by the time he turned back. Hopkins said he never saw the suspect.

Surveillance video from the Handlery Hotel across the street from the gallery captured the suspect, who was wearing a blue t-shirt and a hat. The man can be seen holding the etching, which is estimated to be worth $20,000.

"The Burning Giraffe," the 1966 piece from the famed Spanish painter, was a mixed media etching that was hand colored. It's from a series called Tauromachie Surréaliste and is apparently a very rare piece that has been sold out for years.

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