Two KU Students Charged in Art Theft Case

Two University of Kansas students have been charged with stealing part of a Native American art exhibit that also was vandalized while displayed outside a campus museum.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports that Samuel McKnight and John Wichlenski were charged in Douglas County District Court with theft of property of a value of at least $1,500 but less than $25,000.

The exhibit is installed outside the Spencer Museum of Art.

It consists of five aluminum signs that name Native tribes who historically or currently inhabit the region now called Kansas.

Charging documents filed against McKnight and Wichlenski say the artwork heist happened around September 29.

The stolen panel was recovered the next day.

The theft happened more than three weeks after two unidentified people damaged four of the pieces.

The vandalism forced officials to take down the exhibit for repairs before reinstalling it.