Evanston police say three men forced their way into a home in the 2200 block of Central Street this morning, tied up the couple who live there and stole artwork valued at more than $100,000.

Police Cmdr. Jay Parrott says the incident happened shortly before 9 a.m. when the men, who initially said they were making a delivery, forced their way into the home and pushed the 67-year-old man and his 68-year-old wife to the floor and bound them with duct tape.

The men stole four pieces of artwork.

One was described as an oil painting from an artist made in the 1950’s and three others were prints. One print was of a crucifixion scene by the same artist as the oil painting.

Parrott says the oil painting and crucifixion print were valued at anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000 each. The other two prints were not of value according to the victim.

The suspects are described as male/white or Hispanic. One was of a stocky build and was wearing a red and white shirt with black pants. The second was wearing dark clothing, possibly a black shirt and pants. No description was given for the third subject.

It is believed that the subjects drove a small white box-style truck that may have been rented from Budget car rental.

Currently, detectives are investigating the incident and attempting to identify the artist of the stolen painting and prints. No photos of the atrwork are available at this time. The victims were both taken to a local hospital for treatment by fire department personnel. 

Anyone with information regarding this incident can call the Evanston Police Department at 847-866-5000, the detective bureau at 847-866-5040 or use the text-a-tip program by texting “CRIMES” (274637) and then type EPDTIP in the message line followed by information on the incident. All texting tips are anonymous.

Update 6:30 p.m. 4/14/12: Evanston police now say they’ve learned from family members of the victims that the stolen painting and print were by the Italian artist Giuseppe Guerreschi, but they still haven’t been able to locate photos of the stolen works.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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