Dutch police arrest suspect in Van Gogh, Frans Hals thefts

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Dutch police said Tuesday they have arrested a suspect in the theft last year of two valuable paintings by Vincent van Gogh and Frans Hals from two different museums. The paintings, however, remain missing.

In a statement posted on Twitter, police spokeswoman Maren Wonder said a 58-year-old man was arrested at his home in the Dutch town of Baarn. His identity was not released, in line with Dutch privacy guidelines.

“Unfortunately we haven’t yet recovered the paintings and the investigation is continuing,” Wonder said. She called the arrest “a really important step in the investigation.”

“The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring 1884” by Van Gogh was snatched from the Singer Laren museum east of Amsterdam in the early hours of March 30. The museum was closed at the time due to a coronavirus lockdown.

The Hals work, “Two Laughing Boys,” was stolen some five months later from Museum Hofje van Mevrouw van Aerden in Leerdam, 60 kilometers (about 35 miles) south of Amsterdam.