29 Oct 2015

Art gallery robber sentenced for Ducati theft

12:54 pm on 29 October 2015

A man who held up the Auckland Art Gallery at gunpoint nearly two decades ago has been sentenced for stealing a rare $130,000 motorbike.

Ricardo Romanov was sentenced in the Auckland District Court today to seven years in prison with a minimum non-parole period of three and-a-half years.

In 1999 he had been given a 16-and-a-half year jail term for aggravated robberies, including for the theft of a $2 million French painting, which was later recovered.

In 2013 Romanov, previously known as Ricardo Sands, researched the limited number of owners of a rare Ducati motorbike.

He then tracked down one of the owners to a rural property north of Auckland.

Judge Blackie described the burglary as meticulously planned and said Romanov broke a security gate before making off with the bike but dropped a balaclava at the scene.

The police linked Romanov to the crime through DNA found in the balaclava and also found keys to the bike at Romanov's home.

The bike, which Judge Blackie called a mechanical piece of art, has never been recovered.