By Rebecca Henely
An 18th-century Chinese jade cup said to be worth $20,000 was snatched from a Long Island City auction house last week, police said.
Will Jian, manager of Antique Reader Inc., at 39-06 Crescent St., said the thief filched the cup from the auction house July 17 sometime between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. He said the missing antique is an Archaic-style white jade cup about 3 inches tall and about 4 inches wide with a handle shaped to resemble a dragon.
Jian said the auction house had received the cup from the consigner July 16. The cup is worth about $20,000.
“And it’s gone the next day,” he said.
Police were alerted to the crime July 18. Jian said Friday the auction house had given the security camera footage to a detective squad.
“We are just cooperating with them,” he said.
The theft took place during the auction house’s business hours. Jian said they are not certain whether or not a customer stole the cup.
“They will analyze to see if they can determine who took it, but we’re not sure right now,” he said.
Police said they had not identified any suspects.
Antique Reader specializes in Asian antiques and has been in business in the Long Island City-Dutch Kills area for a year, Jian said.
He said the incident has forced the auction house to make some changes.
“We are disappointed. We do have some adjustments that we had to make within the company regarding security,” Jian said.
The jade cup’s theft is classified as a grand larceny. The auction house is within the confines of the 114th Precinct, which patrols Astoria and the Dutch Kills section of Long Island City. The 114th Precinct has seen 347 incidents of grand larceny since July 15, according to police statistics.
This is an almost 11 percent increase compared to the number of grand larcenies that occurred at the same time last year, which totaled 313.
Those with any information on the theft should contact the NYPD’s Crimestoppers via phone at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), via the Crimestoppers website at nypdcrimestoppers.com or via texting 274637 (CRIMES) and then entering TIP577.
Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4564.