PB Artist Finds Unique Way to Try to Catch Crooks After Artwork is Stolen

Artwork priceless to one artist was stolen in just a matter of minutes while on display in Pacific Beach.

That same artist found a unique way to spread the word about the missing piece using some inspiration from the thieves.

Crooks helped themselves to the artist's treasured tribute to a late acting great.

"A little six by eight mural of Gene Wilder got stolen off the side of my house," said artist Ben Jay.

Jay is a spray paint artist and has a variety of masterpieces, but his favorite is still missing.

Saturday at Fun House Tattoo in Pacific Beach, he took to the canvas to help spread the word about the stolen piece.

The star himself made an appearance again, except this time as his character in "Blazing Saddles."

"I decided to make a new painting to hang up there with a little-wanted poster of the old painting that had been hanging there next to Sheriff's Deputy Gene Wilder watching over it," Jay added. "I made sure to finish the wanted poster first and have it on the side that was most visible."

Jay told NBC 7 he will be using a security camera this time around to help protect his painting, but he said if that one is stolen, his next piece of artwork will have the crook’s face from the security footage to help expose them. 

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