Smash and Grab

Paris Art Heist Was Low-Tech Job

If you thought someone had dropped down into a Parisian Museum on a wire and danced through laser beams to pull off Thursday’s heist, think again. The evidence—a broken window and a picked lock—suggests the operation was not quite as elaborate as Hollywood has taught us to believe. The theft, dubbed “very organized” by French officials, seems to have been carried out by a lone, masked burglar, who smashed a window and climbed in. And despite three security people being on duty all night, the thief had time to lift a Picasso, a Matisse, a Modigliani, a Braques, and a Léger off the wall and carry them out. What about those laser beams? Not quite. The museum's alarm system had been broken for two weeks.