Art-Theft Detective Robert Volpe, 63

“Robert Volpe, a painter with a flowing mustache who gained street smarts chasing drug smugglers as a police officer and then put those skills to use as the New York City Police Department’s one-man art-theft squad in the 1970s, died on Nov. 28 at his home on Staten Island. … Mr. Volpe essentially created his detective’s job after computer analyses pinpointed art theft as a growing problem. Asked to make a survey, he came back with actual arrests instead of a report — underlining the need for a special effort. He became that effort, making the New York Police Department the nation’s only one with a separate bureau for art crime.”