USC reports architecture school theft six years later

In September 2012, three pieces of furniture, possibly worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, were stolen from a warehouse used by the USC School of Architecture. The university did not report the theft until January 2019.

The pieces, designed by world-renowned 20th-century architect Frank Lloyd Wright and his star student Rudolph Schindler, were bequeathed to USC as part of a larger estate in the Hollywood Hills known as the Freeman House. The USC School of Architecture has been working to restore the home, also designed by Wright, since the 1990s and its furniture – including the two lamps by Wright and a chair by Schindler – was put in storage at a South Los Angeles warehouse rented by the architecture school, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times in February.

The items went missing from a locked enclosure inside the warehouse in the fall of 2012, but according to a statement from the University, there are no records of any police report. USC filed a theft report with the Los Angeles Police Department on Jan. 22, after Times reporters asked the university to respond to a recent anonymous email they received that detailed the heist.

Antique dealer Andrew Morris said with theft of this magnitude, it is most often an "inside job." A Wright lamp similar to the ones stolen sold at auction recently for about $100,000.