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ZIONSVILLE, Ind. – The Boone County Sheriff’s Office is looking to track down an art thief. Sheriff’s deputies say a valuable painting by a well-known local artist was stolen last month.

The stolen piece, painted by Nancy Noel, was sold years ago to a private collector in Boone County.

Noel is known around the world for her impressionist works of children and animals. In the 1980s, the Zionsville native says she created an oil painting called “Two Hounds in a Field.” Last month, someone stole that painting.

“Somebody must have recognized it as being valuable,” said Noel. “I guess from an artist’s standpoint it’s kind of a compliment.”

The sheriff’s office says someone stole the painting from the Zionsville area sometime between March 12 and March 25.

Right now, it’s not clear who stole the art or what they hope to do with it.

“You know I can’t imagine these people trying to resell it, because my things are very recognizable,” said Noel.

The Boone County sheriff put out a flyer issuing a $1,500 reward for the recovery of the painting, which Noel estimates is worth tens of thousands of dollars.

“If I were to insure it right now, I would suggest that the people who owned it insured it for around 45,000,” said Noel.

While Noel doesn’t have a financial stake in the painting anymore, for the owner’s sake, she wants the two hounds returned to their rightful home.

“I hope the people get it back. It’s a really lovely painting,” said Noel. “I think that the thief either really liked the painting or they had some idea of what it might be worth, which I find kind of odd for a thief.”

Anyone with information on the theft is asked to contact Boone County Detective Jason Reynolds at 765-483-6405.