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Vendor offers reward for return of artwork stolen from Kimball Arts Festival

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Posted at 5:50 PM, Aug 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-15 19:50:01-04

PARK CITY, Utah -- A vendor at the Kimball Arts Festival is offering a $2,000 reward for the recovery of two pieces stolen from his booth on Main Street over the weekend.

Woodworker Kevin DesPlanques said when he walked into his tent Sunday he discovered two uniquely-designed chairs were stolen. In total, they cost $11,000 and took him 200 hours to complete.

"My pieces are one of a kind pieces," said DesPlanques, of Durango, Colo. "There are no other pieces like them on earth. I just felt sick to my stomach."

The crime is suspected to have occurred on Aug. 14 between 1 and 6 a.m. Police say six vendors were stolen from or had artwork damaged. The theft and vandalism is estimated to be $20,000.

Since the theft, DesPlanques said, he doesn’t trust the festival. He said his main disappointment was the lack of security.

"(Just) kind of violated to be honest with you," said DesPlanques. "Because you in good faith believe the show is going to everything in their power to try to protect your work.”

The Kimball Arts Center Executive Director Robin Marrouche released a statement:  “This is a rare, and deeply unfortunate situation - and one we don't take lightly."

In her statement, Marrouche also pointed out rules and regulations of the festival: “Exhibitors may leave their booth in place Friday and Saturday nights. While overnight security does roam the festival grounds, artwork displayed/stored in booths is done so at the artist’s own risk.”

The last time art was stolen from the festival was in 2012, said Park City Police Capt. Rick Ryan. One of the pieces stolen that year was a 600-pound lion sculpture.

"We actually recovered its body cut up in pieces in the Uintas," Ryan said.

DesPlanques worries his chairs will also be destroyed.

Anyone with information the thefts or vandalism is asked to call Park City police at 435-615-5500.