WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) – A former University of Hawaii student turned himself into police Friday after he was caught by video surveillance with more than 200 rare books stolen from the university's Hamilton Library.
(Click on accompanying video to see the surveillance video.)
David Niau, Resident Manager at the Waikiki Skyliner, was watching surveillance images when he noticed a man loading boxes into one of the building's two elevators. That man was Timothy Perry. Niau told Hawaii News Now he went to investigate because, while loading the books, Perry had blocked the elevator door in the open position meaning no one else could use it.
"I go up there and I find the door ajar with all the books inside and I open the box to see what's in the box and I see it's a University of Hawaii books," Niau said.
Niau knew right away he was onto something because he had been a report on Hawaii News Now about books being stolen from UH.
"I was watching Keahi Tucker, K5 my favorite station, and Keahi mentioned there were books being taken from the University of Hawaii. And it just so happened that two days later I'm in the elevator here in my building with stacks of boxes full of University of Hawaii books," Niau added.
The books, some dating back to the 1700's, are back at the library. As of Friday night Perry had not been charged, but he had hired an attorney.
"I think frankly he was financially desperate at the time and he was trying to cover basic necessities," said Myles Breiner, Perry's attorney.
"Is he remorseful? Sure he is remorseful, I mean, he got caught," Breiner added.
And it is not the first time Perry's been caught.
In 2010 he posted risqué pictures and video on the internet of himself posing in UH classrooms partially clothed. At the time he said the university had suspended him for violating the school's code of conduct.
This time it is worse. He has been arrested. His freedom and his education are in jeopardy.
"The University will probably terminate him and is unlikely to ever allow him to be re-admitted as a student," Breiner said.
Niau said he has seen a lot of unusual stuff during three years as a resident manager, but nothing quite like this.
"I'm just glad it's been returned, because they value the books at up to 40 to $100,000 to be replaced, according to what I heard on the news," Niau concluded.
After turning himself in at HPD headquarters Perry was released pending possible charges.