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Brian Michael McDevitt

Brian McDevitt in 1982. After he was released from New York state prison for his attempted robbery of the Hyde Collection, he was brought back to Boston to face charges for the 1979 safe deposit box thefts, for which he did time served and two years parole. (Courtesy Stéphanie Rabinowitz)
Brian McDevitt in 1982. After he was released from New York state prison for his attempted robbery of the Hyde Collection, he was brought back to Boston to face charges for the 1979 safe deposit box thefts, for which he did time served and two years parole. (Courtesy Stéphanie Rabinowitz)

Brian Michael McDevitt’s fingerprints would be among the first to be sent to FBI headquarters in the wake of the Gardner Museum robbery. Raised in the coastal town of Swampscott, Massachusetts, he dropped out of Bates college after just a year and went on steal $100,000 from a Boston lawyer’s safe deposit boxes. He used the ill-gotten proceeds to finance a charade in Glens Falls, New York, where he masqueraded as a Vanderbilt and concocted an elaborate plan to empty The Hyde Collection of more than 70 masterpieces. McDevitt was living in Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood when the Gardner Museum was robbed. In 1992, he claimed to a former girlfriend, Stéphanie Rabinowitz, that he had been paid $300,000 to rob the Gardner Museum, and that he had leave the country. McDevitt died at the age of 43 in Medellin, Colombia, in 2004.


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