Damien Hirst paintings stolen from London gallery

LONDON (AP) — British police say two Damien Hirst paintings together valued at 33,000 pounds ($54,000) have been stolen from a London art gallery.

The Metropolitan Police says the two signed paintings were taken from the Exhibitionist Gallery in west London in the early hours of Monday. The works are among Hirst's series of "spot" paintings, covered in multicolored dots.

Detective Sgt. Jon Lightfoot appealed Wednesday for witnesses who might have seen a dark-colored hatchback car with polka-dot paintings in the back driving from the area to come forward.

Hirst is one of Britain's best-known and wealthiest living artists, famous for his pickled sharks and rotting animal installations as well as his paintings. In 2008, a Sotheby's auction of his work netted almost $200 million, a record for a living artist.