UMass PD investigating theft at Augusta Savage Gallery


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AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – The UMass-Amherst Police Department (UMPD) is looking for the public’s help in solving a theft from the Augusta Savage Gallery, located in the New Africa House.

Police say that on or around March 15 or 16 individuals broke into the gallery and stole items from an exhibit, “Theater of the Streets: Social Landscapes Through the Lens of Jill Freedman.” The late Freedman’s camera bag, black Nikon 35mm SLR camera, black Olympus 35mm SLR camera and personal notebook were taken. The items were on loan to the gallery from Freedman’s family.

“These cameras are old and not worth a lot of money. The notebook with her thoughts is priceless to us and irreplaceable,” said Nancy Schiffman-Skar, Freedman’s cousin and spokesperson for the family. “It’s not worth a lot of money but it is our family’s heirloom, and we would like the items returned. It is very sentimental to us. If they could return the items to the Augusta Savage Gallery, there will be no questions asked. We will not press any charges; we just want her items returned to us.”

Three Apple Mac Mini computers and a black Canon DSLR-300 camera belonging to the gallery and staff were also stolen.

Anyone with information about this incident should contact UMass Police Officer David Ortiz at (413) 545-2121 or by email at Anonymous information can be left at (413) 577-TIPS (8477) or by using the UMPD anonymous witness form

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