COURTESY OF KITV
Indian jewelry stolen from the Honolulu Academy of Arts on May 14 is similar to this piece shown in an academy catalog.
Jewelry worth $500,000 stolen from art museum
Honolulu Academy of Arts Director Stephen Little confirmed last night that police are investigating a May 14 theft of jewelry from the museum's Watumull Gallery, but didn't want to give details.
"We are trying to recover property that was stolen. We are possibly very close to getting it back," he said.
KITV News reported last night that jewelry worth $500,000 was taken from the academy's Watumull Gallery, which houses art from India. Much of the art in the gallery was donated by the Watumull family.
KITV, quoting unnamed sources, reported that the museum kept news of the theft secret so as not to jeopardize the police investigation. The station reported that a homeless man who lived nearby may be a suspect in the theft.
The museum at 900 South Beretania St. declined to talk about what it has done to improve security since the theft.
The Honolulu Academy of Arts is more than 70 years old and houses 34,000 pieces of art from Western and Asian cultures in 30 galleries.