Hard luck mansion can’t catch a break

Remember the fancy mansion in Marin County where those kids had that party?

The one where a bunch of rowdy teenagers trashed the place in June then allegedly made off with thousands of dollars in goods, including a Picasso lithograph?

SFBay readers weren’t the only ones who took note of the story and its seemingly weakly-guarded setting: The vacant, lavish, ridge-top mansion owned by imprisoned former Ukranian prime minister Pavlo Lazarenko.

Two East Bay women are now in custody after allegedly trying to break in to the mansion Monday morning.

Novato police booked Lisa Gutierrez, 44, of Hercules and Sabrina Cross, 20, of San Pablo into Marin County Jail on suspicion of burglary, conspiracy and drug offenses. Both are being held on $50,000 bail.

The investigation began before 5 a.m. when a burglary went off at 100 Obertz Lane, the address of the Lazarenko mansion.

No suspects were found when police arrived. All that remained was a backpack full of property, said Novato police Lt. Dave Jeffries.

A few hours later, police found a car parked outside the gate of the home with Gutierrez and Cross sitting inside.

Inside the car, police say they found drugs, paraphernalia and evidence suggesting a link to the break-in, said police Sgt. Jay Demski. He did not elaborate on the link, but a booking log indicates police confiscated suspected burglary tools.

A pit bull found with the suspects was taken to the Marin Humane Society.

The wild teen party occurred May 27, when about 100 teens gathered inside the mansion and a $30,000 Picasso lithograph disappeared, along with $5,000 in silver candlesticks, leather coats and laptops.

Police recovered the lithograph when someone left it leaning against a fence on Burning Tree Drive.

Lazarenko was prime minister of the Ukraine in 1996 and 1997. He fled to the U.S. in 1999 amidst a political investigation in his home country. The next year, the U.S. charged him with using banks to launder ill-gotten money from his time as prime minister.

Lazarenko is scheduled for release from federal prison in November, according to an English-language report in the Kyiv Post.