STROUDSBURG -- Police have arrested an alleged art thief in Monroe County.
Amanda Packard, 56, of Canadensis is accused of stealing a painting from the Monroe County Administration building earlier this month.
Detectives from the district attorney`s office say Packard was caught on camera removing the painting from the building and then caught on camera again trying to return it.
Investigators in Monroe County have now formally charged Packard.
“I have no idea why she would take that painting,” said Chief County Detective Eric Kerchner from the district attorney’s office.
Kerchner says once the video of Packard was made public, she was caught a second time on camera, trying to return it.
“After we released the video of her removing the painting, a couple hours later, after it was broadcast on television, she came back and placed the painting in the vestibule of the county administration building,” said Kerchner.
According to Chief Kerchner, he received numerous calls from people who had seen the surveillance video on the news and recognized the woman as Amanda Packard. He says he compared that video to a picture from her driver`s license and found it to be a direct match.
The painting, called “Sciota Mill Stream,” was donated to the county 20 years ago by a local artist.
George Kappes works in the administration building and can`t understand why anyone would take it.
“Why take that? You know, I mean, it has no value to her. It has value to people in the community,” said Kappes.
Kerchner says Packard gave no reason for stealing the painting, which is worth $250.
However with all the publicity it`s received, he says that might change.
“I think it will increase the value of the painting,” said Kerchner.
Packard was charged with theft by taking and released on $5,000 unsecured bail.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 6.