Art Gallery Employees Suspected of Stealing Paintings - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Art Gallery Employees Suspected of Stealing Paintings

Francis Blackwell Francis Blackwell
Ann Taylor Ann Taylor
Jeff Liu Jeff Liu

By Minna Sugimoto

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- Paintings worth thousands of dollars are missing from a Honolulu art gallery. The couple being sought in connection with the thefts worked for the company.

Now, the owner of the store is asking for your help in the case.

People walk around and enjoy the display at Island Art Gallery at Aloha Tower Marketplace.

"All this are mostly local artist work," Jeff Liu, gallery owner, said.

But artwork valued at more than $50,000 is gone.

"I definitely feel like these pieces were either sold or stolen or I don't even know where they are," Liu said. "But I just hope people who got this artwork should understand that these are stolen art. It wasn't really sold through our gallery."

Eight pieces, including several original oil paintings, vanished, along with gallery employees Francis Blackwell and Ann Taylor.

"Of course, I feel being betrayal," Liu said. "I have almost total trust in them because this gallery is a small gallery, as you can see."

Liu says he discovered fake invoices, after a customer reported his purchase was never delivered.

"Right now, we just hope that this artwork can get back to us," he said. "We're willing to pay a reward, probably, I don't know, $500 a piece or something."

Police say Blackwell has prior theft convictions. Liu says he has since changed the way he handles potential hires, now conducting thorough background checks.

"I never really checked anybody. I personally believe a hand shake is better than words," he said. "I do check with new employees coming in to application with us, just make sure there are no major things involved."

If you have any information about the couple or the stolen artwork, call Honolulu police.

  • Hawaii News Now headlinesNewsMore>>

  • Woman stabs 5 - including newborns - at New York nursery

    Woman stabs 5 - including newborns - at New York nursery

    Friday, September 21 2018 7:50 AM EDT2018-09-21 11:50:04 GMT
    Saturday, September 22 2018 9:44 AM EDT2018-09-22 13:44:12 GMT
    Police in New York say at least five people, including three infants, were stabbed at an overnight day care center in Queens. (Source: WABC/CNN)Police in New York say at least five people, including three infants, were stabbed at an overnight day care center in Queens. (Source: WABC/CNN)

    Police in New York say at least five people, including three infants, were stabbed at an overnight day care center in Queens.

    More >>

    Police in New York say at least five people, including three infants, were stabbed at an overnight day care center in Queens.

    More >>
  • Shame, fear: Survivors explain not reporting sexual assaults

    Shame, fear: Survivors explain not reporting sexual assaults

    Friday, September 21 2018 6:20 PM EDT2018-09-21 22:20:29 GMT
    Saturday, September 22 2018 9:44 AM EDT2018-09-22 13:44:09 GMT
    (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File). FILE - In this Sept. 6, 2018 file photo, President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington for the third day of his confirmation ...(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File). FILE - In this Sept. 6, 2018 file photo, President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington for the third day of his confirmation ...
    Survivors respond with fury to Trump's remarks on woman who accused court nominee of sexual assault.More >>
    Survivors respond with fury to Trump's remarks on woman who accused court nominee of sexual assault.More >>
  • Victory for Kauai kumu hula after Japan court rules she may copyright her choreography

    Victory for Kauai kumu hula after Japan court rules she may copyright her choreography

    Saturday, September 22 2018 4:04 AM EDT2018-09-22 08:04:15 GMT

    During the four year legal battle, kumu hula Kapu Kinimaka-Alquiza of Hanapepe, Kauai danced in a Japan court to show that her hula choreography was original. She filed suit to get a Japanese hula operator to stop using her choreography without permission. According to NHK, a judge in Osaka district court ruled Thursday that hand movements in hula express lyrics, show originality and may be copyrighted. "I'm very very happy not just for myself, but that our story can help other...

    More >>

    During the four year legal battle, kumu hula Kapu Kinimaka-Alquiza of Hanapepe, Kauai danced in a Japan court to show that her hula choreography was original. She filed suit to get a Japanese hula operator to stop using her choreography without permission. According to NHK, a judge in Osaka district court ruled Thursday that hand movements in hula express lyrics, show originality and may be copyrighted. "I'm very very happy not just for myself, but that our story can help other...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly