Guard in museum robbery under suspicion

March 10, 2013 at 10:39 AM

BOSTON, March 10 (UPI) -- The guard who let robbers into Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum 23 years ago is now under suspicion, officials said.

Richard Abath says he let two thieves disguised as police officers into the museum in March of 1990 and had no clue of their intent to rob it, The Boston Globe reported. The two thieves took 13 works of art valued at more than $500 million.

Investigators had believed Abath, who was found handcuffed and duct-taped, wasn't a part of the operation and made a mistake when he let the two men into the museum, the Globe said.

But now investigators are reconsidering what role Abath played in the robbery after 23 years of pursuing dead ends, the newspaper said.

The Globe said Abath opened the door minutes before the robbers rang the buzzer, and allegedly may have been signaling them that he was ready for them.

And motion detectors picked up only Abath's footsteps on the first floor gallery when one of the stolen paintings was taken, the Globe said.

Abath, who passed two lie detector tests, is not being named as a suspect, and no one has ever been charged in the crime, the Globe reported.

"I totally get it," Abath, now a 46-year-old teacher's aide in Vermont, told the Globe. "I understand how suspicious it all is. But I don't understand why [investigators] think ... I should know an alternative theory as to what happened or why it did happen."

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