Terry gets art back after cops catch thieves red-handed

Multicultural artist Terry Saleh is relieved to have his artworks and market stall equipment returned by Gympie police after it was taken from the Eumundi Markets on February 8.
Multicultural artist Terry Saleh is relieved to have his artworks and market stall equipment returned by Gympie police after it was taken from the Eumundi Markets on February 8. Tanya Easterby

ABORIGINAL artist Terry Saleh can thank a sharp-eyed bargain hunter for finding his stolen artwork, worth about $40,000.

A regular stallholder at Eumundi Markets every Saturday, Mr Saleh set up in the evening on Friday, February 8, went to dinner and returned to find all his wares gone.

In an unusual twist, two people caught were selling his artwork at the Imbil markets on Sunday.

They were in possession of nearly all of Mr Saleh's stall, including the marquee, bush medicine products, a didgeridoo and jewellery.

"It was shocking," he said yesterday while picking up his items from the Gympie Police Station.

"I told myself that some people had lost everything in floods and I needed to move on."

Gympie police received a call on Sunday from a person who recognised Mr Saleh's work at the Imbil markets.

Detectives identified the artwork on display as the items reported stolen and arrested and charged a man in his 20s and a woman in her 30s from Tewantin.

They will face Gympie court on March 25, on charges of stealing, or alternatively, receiving stolen property.

"I really am so happy - I want to thank the police and also for the guardian angel that spotted it and told the police and for it to be dealt with so quickly," Mr Saleh said.

"I'm preparing for an exhibition overseas at the end of May and needed my work. I'm hoping to take about 24 artworks, 18 of them were stolen.

"People are really desperate these days. They will do anything for money."

To view Terry's works visit terrysaleh-art.com.au.

Gympie Times


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