Two paintings worth more than £1,000 were stolen from a Nottingham art gallery after staff were distracted by an "overweight woman" repeatedly hitting herself on the head with a plastic bottle. The theft happened at A Room Full of Butterflies in Mansfield Road when the gallery was busy. Police are now investigating and looking for two people who were involved in the distraction theft.
Gallery owner Andy Welch said: "A very tall guy and an overweight woman came into the shop at around 4.30pm.
The women started banging herself on the head with a plastic water bottle which confused everyone.
While this happened the guy went up the stairs.
Suddenly he came charging down the stairs and out the door and at that moment the woman stopped hitting herself on the head and left too."
Mr Welch did not realise the paintings were missing until he had finished with his customers and went up stairs.
He said: "It was bizarre but a classic shop theft with a distraction and someone running away quickly.
The artist is absolutely heartbroken and so am I.
They are really good pieces of work and we just don't want them to be sold down the pub for £10.
The police were here within five minutes and are doing all they can."
The paintings were created by Linda Wallis from Sherwood.
The first painting shows Latimer Close in Bulwell and the second is a Nottinghamshire mining landscape.
Linda is a nationally recognised artist with work held by The Saatchi Gallery in London.
The theft took place on Tuesday, May 10, and Nottinghamshire Police want anyone with any information to come forward.
A spokesman said: "Nottinghamshire Police can confirm that the matter has been reported and is under investigation."