• Crime Files: FBI investigating link between Philly underworld, Gardner heist?


    BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) -- FOX 25's Bob Ward opened up his crime files on Wednesday night to update the latest on the investigation into Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist.

    Could the priceless artwork be sitting in a bar in Philadelphia? That is one of the stories that is making the rounds on the streets of Philadelphia.

    It was 23 years ago this week that thieves stole $500 million of art from the Gardner museum. The feds announced earlier this week that they know who took it, but they won't name names.

    Could a top Philly mob boss, whose trial ended with a deadlocked jury just last month, have something to do with the heist?

    Bob Ward spoke with FOX 29's Dave Schratweiser on Wednesday about the investigation. Schratweiser says he is hearing all kinds of information from his underworld sources.

    Schratweiser confirms that there have been stories circulating about the paintings being stashed at a bar in South Philadelphia. He says he's even heard that some of the paintings were exchanged for $5,000 each.

    "We started hearing buzz on this in October when the entire hierarchy of the Philadelphia mob, Joe Ligambi, the Philadelphia boss, they call him the uncle, was on trial with six or seven other people. That started coming up at that time. Those guys had just begun a major trial here which just ended a month ago with some mixed verdicts here," Schratweiser explains.

    Schratweiser says it is undeniable that the FBI in Boston is looking for some kind of press in Philadelphia on this issue.

    "It could be they are out of leads in Boston and maybe tracking leads here," says Schratweiser. "There's always the possibility that they are up on a wire here. That they may have secret listening devices planted. They want publicity so people start to talk. It's called tickling the wire. "

    It's important to remember, the feds will not identify who stole the artwork, but on Monday U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz said immunity is in play for anyone who will give the paintings back. There is also a $5 million reward being offered in the case.

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