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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, February 12, 2002

Punahou Carnival robbed of $50,000

By Vicki Viotti
Advertiser Staff Writer

Police are investigating the theft of about $50,000 in Punahou Carnival receipts from a school safe — nearly one-sixth of the money the popular event raises for scholarships every year.

Most of the revenue from the event Feb. 1-2 had been deposited in the bank, said school spokeswoman Bonnie Judd; what remained in the safe was taken in the final hours before the carnival ended at 11 p.m. Feb. 2.

The theft was discovered when cleaning crews arrived at the business office, where the safe is kept, about 7 the following morning, Judd said. They alerted authorities that the office, on the ground floor of the Sullivan Administration Building, had been disturbed and that the freestanding safe was open

Other items were taken in addition to the cash, Judd said, though she would not say what.

Police Lt. Sherman Chan, who heads the East Honolulu district's burglary and theft detail, said there was no evidence of forced entry to the room or safe. "There are some leads we are checking out," he said.

The carnival planners strengthened security this year because of a stabbing at the 2001 carnival and increased awareness since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Judd said.

"For all the security that is visible, there is security that is invisible," she said. "I think we had taken sufficient security measures. ... We make bank deposits frequently."

She said the theft would not curtail the school's scholarship plans, regardless of whether the money is found.

"I think our commitment to financial aid and scholarships goes beyond any burglary," Judd said. "We found it very upsetting that someone chose to steal from a fund-raiser. Honolulu's like this now.

"It's very sad."