When Albuquerque police were searching a condemned apartment building they found a lot more than they expected.
The building was abandoned by residents two years ago after they discovered a meth lab on the premises.
While checking it out last week, police stumbled upon a box containing more than 70 stolen prints in a collection of Native American art.
According to the Albuquerque Journal, the house was also known to hide stolen goods. The officer took the portfolio to a curator at a museum and after examining the art, he identified the artist as Al Momaday - who died in 1981.
The curator told KOB-TV, "I was just surprised that groups of prints would be out there in the public. Usually, when you hear about art thefts, it's individual works...FLASH...What we hope is that somebody will come forward and say, 'oh yes, I represent the artist and I didn't realize that these had gone missing.'"
Momaday's paintings are featured in galleries around the US and since the artwork is still in good condition, it's worth more than $30,000. It's possible the prints were stolen from Momaday's son who kept them in a storage unit in Santa Fe.