Customs House theft, 1858.

Unusual Theft.

On Sunday, the 28 of Mar., the money of the Customs House [Hale Dute] of Honolulu, eight thousand or more, was stolen. The theft was like this.

On Saturday, Kukela [Goodale], the Collector locked the safe [pahu dala] inside and took the key and inserted the key into his pants pocket, then shut all the doors and windows, and he and his secretary returned to their homes. On Sunday morning, Kukela put on different pants and left the other. He went to pray and returned and saw that some clothes from his bedroom were missing and were scattered outside the house. Two shirts and two pants. In the pants was the key to the safe and it was gone. Kukela went at once seaward to the Jail [Halewai], and got the Sheriff, and they went to the customs house. When looking, there was no one who had entered, for the entrances to the building were shut, and a soldier stood guard on the seaside. The soldier did not see the thief. The door was opened, and they went inside; the money from the safe was gone, and the bags were scattered about. Some matches and kindle to light a fire were found, but no lamp; the safe was locked and the key was left in some rice bags, found later. The door of a window was opened, as well as the large door on the mauka side; there was a pile of coal, and perhaps that was the means of escape for the thief.  There was a  moon that night, but the theft was not witnessed. The sum of the money that was missing was $8,000 of the Government’s and $583 of Goodale’s, the tax collector [luna dute].

It is believed that one of the thieves entered the building on Saturday, and hid there; and another remained outside to look for the key; and the one on the inside opened the window and the door, and the one on the outside gave him the key, and it was the one on the inside that opened the safe and took the money.

The Marshal [Ilamuku] has announced that the reward of the one who searches for and finds the thief and brings back the money is $1000. This is the first time that there has been a theft as big as this here in Hawaii nei; these are intelligent people, therefore, beware you people with money, lest it end up missing.

Here is another thing, some days ago, a clothes trunk of a Captain Plaskett was stolen and taken into Kawaiahao Church; but the clothes were not stolen. Perhaps the thief was thinking of money so he left the clothes behind.

(Hae Hawaii, 4/7/1858, p. 2)

HaeHawaii_4_7_1858_2.pngKa Hae Hawaii, Buke 3, Ano Hou,—-Helu 1, Aoao 2. Aperila 7, 1858.

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