Man causes $5.2m of damage at museum after being ‘angry at his girlfriend’

US News

A man broke in to a Texas art museum and caused $5.2m (£4.14m) of damage – because he was angry at his girlfriend, he told police.

Brian Hernandez, 21, was seen on CCTV outside the Dallas Museum of Art at around 9.40pm on Wednesday before going room to room destroying valuable artefacts.

Internal security footage saw him punch one display case three times and break a sixth century Greek amphora and a pot that dates back to 450 BC.

The two items had a total estimated value of $5m (£3.98m), Dallas Police documents show.

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He also destroyed a Kylix Herakles and Nemeon Lion statue worth $100,000 (£79,500) and a Batah Kuhuh Alligator Gar fish with the same value.

Mr Hernandez confessed during a police interview and when asked why he had done it, he replied that he got “mad at my girl so broke in and started destroying property”.

CCTV also captured him smashing up a laptop, phone, monitor, two wooden display signs and four plexiglass display cases.

Hernandez, who was not armed, was taken into custody at the Dallas County Jail and charged with criminal mischief of greater than or equal to $300,000. His bail was set at $100,000.

Museum ‘devastated’ by the damage

Dallas Police documents included a statement from the museum, which read: “This was an isolated incident perpetrated by one individual acting alone, whose intent was not theft of art or any objects on view at the museum.

“However, some works of art were damaged, and we are still in the process of assessing the extent of the damages.”

The spokesperson added: “While we are devastated by this incident, we are grateful that no one was harmed.

The museum suffered damage previously during an incident where a truck-mounted crane fell on the building’s roof, injuring the operator and narrowly missing a sculpture outside.

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