MARIN COUNTY -- Two women were arrested Monday on suspicion of burglary at the same vacant Novato mansion where a Picasso lithograph was stolen during a teen party in May, police said.
Lisa Gutierrez, 44, of Hercules and Sabrina Cross, 20, of San Pablo were booked into Marin County Jail on allegations of burglary, conspiracy and drug offenses. Bail was set at $50,000 for each.
Police said the investigation began shortly before 5 a.m., when a burglary alarm went off at 100 Obertz Lane. The nine-bedroom ridgetop home belongs to Pavlo Lazarenko, the former Ukrainian prime minister who is serving a federal prison term for money laundering and conspiracy.
Police searched the area and found evidence of a break-in, but no suspects. A backpack packed with property was found abandoned at the scene, said Novato police Lt. Dave Jeffries.
A few hours later, police patrolling the neighborhood saw a car parked at the gated entrance to the estate. Police found Gutierrez and Cross in the car, along with suspected drugs and paraphernalia and "evidence suggesting a link" between them and the burglary, said police Sgt. Jay Demski.
He did not elaborate on the evidence, but the jail booking log indicates that police found suspected burglary tools.
The investigation is continuing. A pit bull with the suspects was taken by the Marin Humane Society.
On May 27, a group of about 100 teens threw a party at the Lazarenko mansion and scattered
The 1957 lithograph was recovered by police June 10 after someone left it leaning against a fence on Burning Tree Drive.
Lazarenko, who was prime minister of Ukraine in 1996 and 1997, fled to the United States in 1999 amid a political corruption investigation in his home country. The next year, U.S. authorities charged him with using American banks to launder ill-gotten riches from his Ukraine tenure.
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