Museum of Glass security camera stolen

Thieves stole an exterior security camera Saturday night from The Museum of Glass: International Center for Contemporary Art, about a month after the museum ended nighttime security patrols.

It's the fourth act of vandalism or theft at or near the museum since it opened last summer. Just two weeks ago, someone stole three of the red glass apples that are part of an outdoor exhibit at the museum. They were later found and returned.

Josi Callan, the museum's director, said the patrols were ended Jan. 1 due to financial constraints.

The camera will be replaced, but it's unlikely nighttime security will return any time soon, Callan said.

"At least not right now," Callan said Sunday night. The (museum) board will have to look at it, but we simply don't have (the money) in the budget."

It costs about $40,000 annually to pay for one nighttime security guard, Callan said. Several museum guards patrol both the inside and the outside of the museum during the day.

The museum discourages people from roaming around its exterior at night, but the area is not gated.

The museum might consider other security options if the vandalism continues, Callan said.

"We've been open almost seven months, and we've had well over 200,000 people through the building itself and perhaps another 50,000 on the outside," Callan said. "That's pretty amazing that people have really respected the art and the building."

Callan said she knows of no other thefts or vandalism at the museum, which opened with a host of outside art exhibits.

In September, two youths pushed over and shattered one of the 20 glass-and-bronze tubes of Howard Tre's "Water Forest," which stands outside the museum. The City of Tacoma is squabbling with Tre over who should pay for repairs.

A security guard witnessed that incident but didn't get the names of the two youths involved.

Last August, someone fired two or more shots at the Chihuly Bridge of Glass, splintering some protective glass panels but leaving undamaged the artwork behind them.
There have been no arrests in either case.

Police may have better luck finding the thieves responsible for stealing the security camera, mounted on the rooftop and pointed at a museum elevator.

The camera caught the thief just moments before he cut the camera's wires. The thief, wearing a baseball cap with the word "SECURITY" written on the front, is now on videotape.

600450 Museum of Glass security camera stolen

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