Where’s Wally? Brazen art heist has SA Police baffled

<i>Wally the Galah</i> is still missing after being snatched from an Adelaide hospital by a brazen thief last week.

Wally the Galah is still missing after being snatched from an Adelaide hospital by a brazen thief last week. Photo: SA Police

South Australia Police have a real-life “where’s Wally?” dilemma after a brazen art theft in Adelaide’s outer-north last week.

Police say a man entered the Lyell McEwin Hospital’s cardiology unit about 1pm on December 28, and stole a large painting of Wally the Galah.

The hospital is one of Adelaide’s largest. The thief was wearing high-vis gear when he carried out his cheeky heist.

“The man was captured on CCTV strapping the painting to the roof of his VZ Commodore and driving away,” police said in a statement on Tuesday.

Hospital staff are reportedly devastated by the theft.

Wally the Galah is an original painting by artist Kelly Batsiokis purchased by the cardiology team from The Hospital Research Foundation in 2022, which made the waiting room in the Lyell McEwin Hospital a beautiful and stress-reducing place to be,” Northern Adelaide Local Health Network director of cardiology Margaret Arstall said.

The vivid painting measures more than 1 metre by 1 metre. It shows a purplish galah against a bright yellow-orange background dotted with spots of green, red and blue.

In the days since Wally vanished, police have searched a Salisbury Heights home. A 38-year-old man who lives at the home has been reported for theft and possessing a prohibited weapon after officers allegedly found an extendable baton inside.

But Wally is still missing.

Anyone who knows where the painting is urged to contact Crime Stoppers.

The man will appear in court at a later date.

Stay informed, daily
A FREE subscription to The New Daily arrives every morning and evening.
The New Daily is a trusted source of national news and information and is provided free for all Australians. Read our editorial charter
Copyright © 2024 The New Daily.
All rights reserved.