Cops: Man steals from dead man before calling 911

An acquaintance found the man dead and stole some of his artwork before reporting the death


Associated Press

PUTNAM VALLEY, N.Y. — A New York man who went to check on an acquaintance and found him dead at his home is accused of stealing some of the man's artwork before calling 911.

State police say Hiram Noel Mendez of Cortlandt Manor found Ronald Cutrone dead at his Lake Peekskill home in July. They say Cutrone's death isn't considered suspicious, but the cause of death hasn't been determined pending toxicology results.

Police say Cutrone was an artist and onetime assistant to Andy Warhol. His best-known pieces involve cartoon characters.

Authorities say a nearly five-month investigation found that Mendez left Cutrone's home and then returned and stole several of Cutrone's works before calling 911.

Police say only a fraction of the pieces has been recovered.

Mendez was arraigned Tuesday on burglary, petty larceny and other charges.

Information on his lawyer wasn't immediately available.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press

Associated PressCopyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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