Thieves made off with Russian artworks worth nearly $2 million last year, smuggling many of the stolen pieces abroad, a news agency reported Wednesday.

Most of the works were stolen from apartments, but many also were taken from poorly guarded churches, exhibition halls, art galleries and museums, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported.Vladimir Prozorov, a chief criminal investigator, said that many of the stolen items eventually wound up in Sweden, Germany, Italy and the United States.