I apologize in advance if you are tired of me telling you about Michael Jon Schofield, but I still say the whole thing is inherently interesting. I mean, it’s no Small-Town Sheriff Scandal Movie in the Making, but still interesting. To catch up: Schofield is a Newport Beach artist accused of stealing a Picasso drawing that he had used as collateral for a personal loan that he didn’t repay. He ended up being arrested in Dallas and then extradited to Orange County. I’m sure — assuming you’re still paying attention — you’re wondering why? how? Dallas? I spoke to a police officer who was familiar with the case to find some answers.
Right. So. Apparently Schofield knew a guy who owned the Picasso sketch, valued at $200,000. He told the owner that he could sell it, presumably through some of his art contacts. The owner said sure, sell it and I’ll let you keep 5 percent. Instead, Schofield used the sketch as collateral for a personal loan, because he wanted to start a business of some sort. So, he gives the sketch to a trusting friend. According to the cop I spoke with, Schofield was helping this friend move apartments or houses or whatever (I’m an exacting reporter, as you can plainly tell). While helping him move, he saw the Picasso, grabbed it, and fled to Dallas.
Schofield had been living in the back of a business on Grissom Lane, out by Harry Hines and 635. It was a framing/art shop. He was apparently familiar with the owner. Meanwhile, Orange County sheriffs had been in touch with an informant who knew the whereabouts of Schofield. The two had been in communication, enough that the informant knew Schofield was thinking about packing up and moving elsewhere. So OC cops contacted officers in Dallas’ Northwest Operations Division. A couple of patrol officers walked into the storefront, asked if Michael was there, and were told he was around back. They found him there. He sort of smiled, as though “he knew the jig was up.” As the officers escorted Schofield out of the building he told the shop’s proprietor, “I’m going back to California. I’ve got some business to take care of.” Or something to that effect. Case closed (as far as the Dallas portion of it is concerned).
And that’s how an accused Newport Beach artist got arrested in Dallas for a stolen Picasso sketch.