MADRID, May 28 (UPI) -- Spanish police arrested seven people linked to the theft of five rare Francis Bacon paintings worth more than $27.8 million.
The paintings were stolen in a professional heist from Bacon's close friend's home in London in July, according to Spanish newspaper El Pais. The thieves also stole jewelry and other valuables, according to the police statement Saturday.
Private investigators told the National Police in Madrid one of the suspects sent them photos of the paintings in an email to confirm the authenticity.
Spanish authorities, analyzing the metadata from the images, noticed the camera had come from a rental company. Customer records led them to someone in the coastal town of Sitga.
The person who rented the camera, an art dealer, the art dealer's son and four other people who received the photos were arrested. Their names were not released.
Police searched four homes -- the tenant of the camera and the homes of three of the suspects -- but did not recover any of the paintings.
Bacon, who was born in 1909, died in Madrid in 1992 at age 82. He was known for his emotionally charged surrealist work.