‘Great Escape' pair fail in bid to steal Steve McQueen portrait from Belfast's Bullitt hotel
IT wasn't quite 'The Great Escape', but two women in their late 60s - one with a walking aid - were able to make off with a 6ft portrait of Steve McQueen from a Belfast hotel.
Police are hunting for the two women suspected of stealing the huge McQueen painting from the new Bullitt Hotel on Ann Street on Sunday at around 8.15pm.
But the theft ultimately failed when the women were unable to fit the 6ft 4in artwork into their car.
The black and white image of the late actor standing against a wall and smoking was later recovered, slightly damaged, on Donegal Quay.
Police hunting the two pensioners have dubbed the crime 'The Great Escape' and have released descriptions of the women.
In a post the PSNI on its Facebook page said: "It is believed two females were involved in the theft and are described as being both in their late 60s, both had shoulder length blonde hair and both had glasses.
"One of the females was wearing a zebra print jacket. The female who carried the portrait away was also noted to have a walking aid."
The post ended with the hashtags: "#dsection, #notjustanysunday, #KeepingPortraitsSafe, #thenotsomagnificenttwo, #stevemcqueen, #thegreatescape."
Bullitt Belfast, named after the Steve McQueen movie of the same name, had only opened to the public the day before the theft.
General manager Michael Sullivan said they were grateful that the portrait had been returned and appealed for anyone who could help track down the culprits to contact police.
"We've had many comments about the Steve McQueen artwork since opening Bullitt Belfast at the weekend and we’re glad that it has been safely returned," he said.
"It wasn’t quite the Great Escape it’s been billed as though; the unlikely perpetrators were foiled in their attempts when they couldn’t fit the painting in their vehicle.
"We are most grateful for the vigilance of our neighbours at Tedfords Kitchen for their assistance in returning the painting," he said.