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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Saturday, April 13, 2002

Police have suspects in Punahou theft

By Brandon Masuoka
Advertiser Staff Writer

Police yesterday said they have suspects in the theft of about $50,000 in Punahou Carnival receipts from a school safe, but need more evidence before they can make any arrests.

The burglary happened in the early morning on Feb. 3 at the school's Sullivan Administration Building at 1601 Punahou St., police said.

Honolulu police detective Letha DeCaires said police are developing leads for potential arrests soon and that they have more than one suspect.

The burglars entered the office, opened the safe and stole approximately $50,000 cash that was raised at the annual Punahou Carnival, as well as dozens of movie theater tickets and Hawaiian jewelry, police said.

New information shows that the wires to the building's alarm system were cut, allowing the burglars to roam freely, police said.

"Initially there have been a lot of comments that led people to believe that it was some sort of an 'inside job,'" DeCaires said. "The investigation has further determined that's not the case."

DeCaires said in an appeal to the public: "We're hoping that witnesses will come forward. We're looking for witnesses to corroborate some of the facts of the investigation that police have been able to uncover."

After learning about the theft, people donated money to the private school to help replace the stolen money, but officials at the school did not say how much has been given or by whom.

During the investigation, police have monitored pawnshops for customers trying to sell the Hawaiian jewelry, DeCaires said.

Anyone with information about this case may call detective Clinton Sukekane directly at 529-3369, CrimeStoppers at 955-8300, or *CRIME on a cell phone.