RHS grad helps stop art heist in Boston

In less than a second, RHS graduate and Boston University student Chris Savino decided to risk his life and do what’s right.

He was heading home after celebrating the Patriots victory during Super Bowl night — Feb. 6 — in Boston, when he and two of his frat brothers, Jesse Doe and Mackenzie Thompson saw a man leaving the Galerie d’Orsay art gallery on Newbury Street carrying $45,000 worth of paintings through a shattered glass door.

As soon as Thompson yelled at the 29-year-old man, a chase ensued.

The three of them ran until Thompson — who is 6 feet 3 inches tall and weighs 200 pounds — caught up to him and pinned him against a mailbox.

Savino grabbed the paintings and tried to flag down a police officer.

“We got lucky because almost every police officer was out at that time trying to make sure there weren’t any rises or anything,” Savino told The Press.

“I found a passing police officer in less than a minute.”

He says that his safety wasn’t a concern.

“It’s funny — it was split second decision to chase the guy,” said Savino. “Until Mack held him down, it didn’t even go through my mind that he could’ve been armed.”

Police reports indicate that the perpetrator — Jordan Russell Leishman — was not armed, but did have two outstanding warrants for assault and narcotics.

“Looking back at it, it was pretty crazy,” said the Ridgefield native. “It could’ve turned out differently, it was dangerous.”

Rembrandt, Chagall

Leishman was arrested by Boston police and is being held under custody without bond.

There were no damages to the paintings — a Miró, a Rembrandt, and two Chagalls — but the gold leaf frames holding them will need $4,000 in repairs.

Gallery owner Sallie Hirshberg has invited the three BU students to an opening Saturday, Feb. 25 and said each one can take a painting of their choosing.

“She insisted that she give us a little something, we really don’t need anything we just did the right thing,” said Savino.

Although he’s not an avid art connoisseur, Savino said he’s sure his mom, Lynne, will help him make a good choice.

Ridgefielder, through and through

Savino has lived in Ridgefield ever since he was four months old. His parents Lynne and Bob still live in town. They’re both physicians.  

“I’m a Ridgefielder through and through,” he said.

When he’s not thwarting art heists, he likes to play golf and watch the Red Sox play.

Savino, who’s studying finance and accounting at BU, lives less than a mile away from Boston’s Fenway Park.

After graduation, he plans to stay in Boston for a few years to gain work experience and expand his professional network.

But once it’s time to start a family, he would love to move back to his hometown.

As far as his crime stopping days,  not sure if they’re behind him yet.

“I don’t think it’ll be a regular occurrence,” said Savino, a member of RHS Class of 2013.

“But it was instinctual and I’m sure anybody else with the right guys around them would’ve done the same thing,” he said. “Luckily I surround myself with good friends.”