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Stolen Art Located, Returned To Owner

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CHICAGO (CBS) — When art gets stolen, it’s rarely recovered.

However, on Thursday, a west suburban artist reclaimed 13 paintings she hasn’t seen in almost a year.

CBS 2’s Derrick Blakley was there for the reunion, accomplished with the help of the Internet.

Penelope Osio-Brown entered her Elmhurst studio to get reacquainted with 13 long-lost friends.

They are expressionist paintings she created, and someone else stole.

Osio-Brown described her emotions when she first saw the stolen artwork.

“I was so nervous. It was like seeing your kids.”

The art was swiped last September during a show in Overland Park, Kan.

“It was heart-wrenching to see all this artwork missing,” Osio-Brown said.

Acting on a tip, Kansas City police later discovered the stolen works in a storage facility.

Police turned the paintings over to propertyroom.com, a website that auctions goods recovered by the law.

They usually deal with jewelry, electronics and appliances, but not art.

However, they saw her signatures on the limited editions and called to confirm that it was really her work.

“She said that is my art work,” said P.J. Bellomo, of property room.com. “It was stolen from me.”

The website policy states that stolen goods are returned to their rightful owner, free of charge.

“I couldn’t believe they had them all,” said Osio-Brown. “They found them all.”

Propertyroom.com has contracts with more than 2,500 public agencies and police departments across the country, including Chicago.