Satellite Beach Man Arrested For Stealing Multiple Highwaymen Art Paintings, Five Birds Remain Missing

By  //  January 31, 2020

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George Steven Rivera, 67, Arrested by police

Melbourne Police have arrested a 67-year-old for multiple stolen Highwaymen art paintings over the span of a few weeks in July and August at area businesses in Brevard County. (MPD Image)

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Melbourne Police have arrested a 67-year-old Satellite Beach man for multiple Highwaymen art paintings that were stolen over the span of a few weeks in July and August last year at area businesses in Brevard County.

Police have identified the man George Steven Rivera.

“Upon further investigation, MPD (Melbourne Police Department) detectives were able to develop a lead in the case identifying the suspect of the burglaries as George Steven Rivera,” said Melbourne Police in a statement.

Rivera was found to have attempted to sell the artwork at several locations across Florida, while posing as an arts dealer.

According to the investigation by Melbourne PD, the first burglary occurred July 18 around 10:49 p.m. at a residence on the 800 block of Melbourne when police were called to the scene of several Highwaymen art paintings that were stolen, along with five birds.

The birds were described as follows:

1. Congo African Grey with chest and legs feathers plucked, named “Little Jim”
2. Congo African Grey with red feathers on the back of neck and on chest, named “Red Neck”
3. Scarlet Macaw Good who is very thin, named “Buffett”
4. Blue and Gold Macaw named “Mack/Mackenna”
5. Blue Front Amazon who is missing toes and has a fatty tumor on the rear, bobbles his head a lot
(“Bobblehead”)

Another burglary was reported a few weeks later on August 7 at the Revamp Vintage Market ( 700 W. Eau Gallie Blvd.) after police discovered several Highwaymen art paintings were stolen.

Lastly, the final burglary in the investigation transpired on August 21 around 4:20 a.m. at the Indian River Antique Mall (1433 S Babcock St.) that included more stolen Highwaymen art paintings.

After a long investigation, police say WESH 2 News did a feature story that highlighted the details of the investigation, which caught the attention of an auction manager at Rennick Auctions in Vero Beach, Florida.

After talking with the Rennick Auctions, police say the representatives notified police about some recently purchased paintings similar to those described in the WESH 2 News broadcast.

MPD detectives coordinated with the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office and the auction house to recover six stolen pieces of art, a grandfather clock and a stolen vase.

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Melbourne Det. Mark Jennewein was able to develop probable cause for the arrest of Rivera for charges of Burglary and Grand Theft.

A warrant was issued for the arrest of George Steven Rivera and he is actively being sought by law enforcement,

The birds stolen still remain missing and MPD is working with social media and avian groups to help locate them.

Rivera was found to have attempted to sell the artwork at several locations across Florida posing as an arts dealer.

“The Melbourne Police Department thanks WESH 2 News for their assistance in this investigation,” said Sgt. John Chapman of the Melbourne Police Department.

All of the property was returned to its rightful owners.

Anyone with additional information into the whereabouts of Rivera or the locations of the parrots are urged to contact Detective Jennewein 321-608-6456.

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