Von Falkenstein was apprehended after he came to have a peek at 223 S. McCadden Place, a home that had recently gone on the market. There, he met real estate salesman H.H. Morgan, who did not get Fred’s name, but found him suspicious enough to jot down his license plate number as he drove away. When the house was later burgled, Morgan handed the number over to police who confiscated between 6 and 8 carloads of stolen goods from Von Falkenstein’s home at 619 Meridian Avenue. Found among the items were Oriental rugs, solid silver home accessories, a radio cabinet, and a French salon painting valued at approximately $5000 that he’d lifted from the art gallery at the Ambassador Hotel.
Though Von Falkenstein worked with an accomplice, Robert Donaldson of 1928 Crenshaw, he acted alone in the art theft and said it was easy. He simply walked into the empty gallery, cut the canvas out of its frame, rolled it up, and walked out of the Ambassador without drawing any attention.
In addition to the art theft, Von Falkenstein also pled guilty to two more home burglaries, and was sentenced to 2 terms of 1 to 15 years at San Quentin. And so it was that our love bird turned jailbird.