A Hastings woman who had 13 paintings stolen has praised the power of social media after they were spotted by staff at an antique furniture store in St Leonards.
Khadija Khan said eight small paintings and five larger ones were stolen from her car while it was parked in Hastings on Saturday night (March 23).
She appealed to her Facebook friends to keep an eye out as she was due to showcase them in an exhibition at the Brick Lane Gallery, on April 3.
However, on Tuesday (March 26), a person attempted to sell the paintings to staff at Kings Road Bazaar, in St Leonards, who recognised them from Khadija’s post.
Khadija said: “I can’t believe how much recognition my social media post got. It got so many shares and it has been mind blowing.
“A friend of mine said they spotted someone trying to sell the paintings at Kings Road Bazaar. They asked the person to come back with all the paintings so they could take a look at them. When they did, they managed to get them all.
“I can’t believe how lucky I was.
“I am so happy to have all the paintings back.” Khadija said staff at Kings Road Bazaar paid for the paintings to make sure they got them back – a cost Khadija says she has now covered.
She added: “They wanted to keep the seller there until the police arrived but as it didn’t look possible they paid for the paintings and I paid them back.
“I have told the police that I don’t want anyone to be prosecuted for this. I have got all the paintings back and nobody was hurt.
“I paint because I find it to be reflective and I didn’t want that to be tainted.”
After the paintings were found, Khadija posted on Facebook to thank those who helped.
She wrote: “I want to say thank you to Greg Peck for some serious detective work, Cecily and Debbie for spotting the person trying to sell them, Satty, Susan and Patsy who pushed Facebook to its limits to prove that there is a positive side to social media and everyone that has helped share. The show will go on.
“Unfortunately I had to cancel my Miami Art Workshop trip before they were found but I hope to do that in the future. The most important bit is that I have my pieces for the exhibition.”
Sussex Police has been approached for comment.