ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) - The Chihuly Collection has been open in downtown St. Petersburg for nearly six years and never experienced a loss - until now.
Somebody stole an 8" tall piece of glass art off its pedestal, possibly late Sunday afternoon.
"It was just such a wonderful piece," collection director Andy Schlauch told FOX 13 News. "We all have our little favorites that we go back and visit when we're going through the collection, and this was one of the ones that I liked to visit a lot."
The small Chihuly has a big name: 'Cobalt and Lavender Piccolo Venetian with Gilded Handle,' and is valued between $20,000 and $25,000.
A cleaning person noted its absence Monday morning.
Schlauch said the row of Piccolo Venetians are glued to tiles and pedestals, but the tiles came off with the stolen piece.
Late Monday afternoon, St. Petersburg police sent several detectives and crime scene technicians to the Chihuly Collection on Beach Drive. They're looking through surveillance videos to try and identify a suspect.
Meanwhile, Schlaugh said his biggest concern is finding the piece intact. He recalled a similar case in Denver a couple of years ago, where some children stole a small Chihuly. When they discovered its value, they destroyed it.