Bassist Elliot Newkirk and his fellow bandmates in Stereo Fire Empire had just spilled out of the House of Blues at 1 a.m. Wednesday and were headed to a bar when they spotted it, leaning up against a French Quarter building: a $250,000 George Rodrigue painting that had been stolen about 10 hours earlier.

With it was a second print featuring the acclaimed artist’s famous “blue dog” that apparently had been stolen earlier.

The four musicians had just been talking about Tuesday’s brazen daytime theft by a man who walked into the Rodrigue Gallery on Royal Street, took the painting off the wall and walked out.