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Owner of getaway truck reported Wyland theft


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POSTED: Saturday, October 10, 2009

A man who allegedly walked out of a Waikiki gallery with a $700,000 painting was turned in by the owner of his getaway truck, according to court documents.

James Asing, of no local address, was charged yesterday with first-degree theft. His bail was set at $100,000.

Police said Asing walked out of Wyland Galleries on Lewers Street with a large painting and placed it in the truck bed before driving away at 7:20 p.m. Sept. 6.

Police arrested Asing, 35, and a 45-year-old woman, who allegedly was in the truck at the time, on Punchbowl Street at about 2:15 p.m. Wednesday.

The woman was released yesterday without charges.

According to court documents, the day of the theft, an employee of a nearby kiosk reported seeing a blue truck park in front of the gallery about 6:45 p.m. A woman in the passenger seat entered the gallery, then returned to the truck, which drove off, she said.

About 40 minutes later, another employee at the same kiosk saw a blue truck with a man and a woman inside stop before the gallery's entrance. The driver walked inside, emerged with a painting and motored away. The employee noted the rear license plate numbers “;668”; and reported the theft to Wyland Galleries.

Wyland confirmed an oil painting called “;Dolphin Dawn,”; valued at about $700,000, was missing from a gallery wall.

Police recovered the undamaged painting a few days later in Chinatown.

On Sept. 14 the truck's owner approached investigators to report that Asing had told him police had his partial license plate number and were looking for his truck. Asing also told him the painting was in the truck, he said.

The truck owner told police he had loaned the truck to Asing at 5 p.m. the night the painting was stolen.