Police in California have recovered more than 1,200 stolen works of art by Scottish abstract painter Benjamin Creme from a storage unit following an anonymous tip off.

Officers in the San Fernando city area of Los Angeles county said a collection of signed surreal art thought to have been stolen between November 2011 and August 2012 worth more than £600,000 had been recovered from a locker.

Glasgow-born Creme passed away in 2016 at the age of 93, but became a cult figure in the artistic community for his constant prophesying of a second coming in line with his Buddhist-inspired religion.

READ MORE: Owner of stolen Colourist paintings expresses disgust at collapse of court case

In 1982, he placed advertisements in newspapers around the world proclaiming a Christ-like figure - named Maitreya the World Teacher - would return to earth via a television broadcast.

The paintings depict a variety of lucid, alien-like shapes and otherworldly silhouettes and were recovered after a family member of the deceased storage unit owner contacted officers.

HeraldScotland: Pic: Los Angeles Police DepartmentPic: Los Angeles Police Department

It is understood the family member only discovered the artworks were stolen after searching for Creme's name online.

The individual, who has not been named, reportedly told detectives that the artwork was previously in possession of a relative who had died a few years ago.

A Los Angeles Police Department statement read: "On September 25, 2019, Commercial Crimes detectives received a phone call from Mission Division about a person who discovered stolen artwork and wanted to turn the artwork over to authorities."

"Commercial Crimes detectives responded to the person's residence in the city of San Fernando where it had been stored for the past few years.

HeraldScotland: Invocation, left, Oracle, centre, and Soul Infusion, right, were among the works recovered by officersInvocation, left, Oracle, centre, and Soul Infusion, right, were among the works recovered by officers

"The reporting person advised the artwork was previously in possession of a relative who had passed away a few years prior.

"The reporting person took the deceased relative's items out of storage and brought them to their residence.

"Upon looking through the items from the deceased relative, the reporting person discovered the artwork was stolen after visiting a law enforcement website and immediately notified authorities."

The stolen artwork had previously been listed on the FBI’s national stolen art file site, but few details have been released regarding the circumstances surround the initial theft.

A website devoted to Maitreya - the name used by Buddhists use for the future Buddha - which purportedly shows evidence of several miracles performed by the deity remains online, though it has not been updated since Creme’s death.

READ MORE: Hotel behind art competition urges artists to enter before deadline

He previously claimed he had been contacted telepathically by a being known as ‘The Master’ who informed him of the impending return of Maitreya - known variously in many religions as Christ, Messiah, Imam Mahdi and Krishna, among others.

He later founded the magazine Share International and in 1982 held a press conference in Los Angeles in front of almost 100 reporters to inform them if they sought Maitreya in the Brick Lane area of London, he would reveal himself to them.

LAPD officers are now assessing what further action is to be taken over the stolen works.