WAIKIKI (KHNL) - It's like something out of a movie. Thieves rip off an original painting valued at nearly $700,000 from a gallery in Waikiki.
Well-known artist Wyland is offering an original brush painting or $2,000 cash for information leading to the safe return of one of his most cherished works of art.
Bruce Krakauer of Wyland Galleries puts up an art piece to fill the giant space left by thieves.
"I don't think they had any idea what they had taken," he said.
Witnesses say a man rushed out of the main entrance hauling a four-feet by six-feet Wyland published original titled "Dolphin Dawn."
The framed oil painting depicts dolphins and colorful fish swimming near coral reef. It's considered to be the most valuable piece in this gallery full of beautiful artwork.
"Value is $695,603," Krakauer said.
The artist is currently in Florida and is devastated by the news.
"People always ask how long it takes to do a painting and I always tell them it takes now 53 years. I'm 53 years old," Wyland said. "These originals, the published ones, are like your kids."
The gallery says Wyland wants his painting back and is offering a special reward.
"An original brush painting with a frame. This has a value of over $11,000," Krakauer said. "So if anybody out there can help, this might be something for you."
The artist wants to open a museum in San Diego someday, and was hoping the "Dolphin Dawn" original would be part of his fine art collection.
"It's a very important piece," Wyland said. "And I always like when people collect my art, but I'm hoping they pay for it."
Witnesses say the thieves fled in a blue GMC pickup. Investigators did receive a partial license plate number.