For more than a half a century, Walter Liew poured his soul into creating some of the most incredible living works of art that were kept at the Dragon Garden Bonsai Center in Waimanalo.
But thieves broke his heart when they stole his signature pieces.
"They took my best. Fifteen of them. Two times. I cried. I couldn't sleep. I couldn't eat," said Liew.
On July 23, none of Liew's finest art pieces were targeted during the first break-in and another six were taken a few days later.
The crooks moved the trees through a cut in the fence.
"The first night they got everything to here. All the good ones from over there to over here and the second time was over there," Liew motioned as he walked across his bonsai family farm.
The theft sunk him into a depression, now he just wants to let everyone know of his loss in hopes of thwarting the sale of his prized trees.
Liew is a bonsai master who has traveled extensively in search of the best bonsai pots for his creations.
Among the rare and irreplaceable trees, an elm that he estimates it is worth $25, 000 dollars.
"This type of tree is like my baby. They kidnapped my baby. I want the baby back. My baby took 45 years to create, but can take only two days to kill," said Liew.
"If you don’t water one day, the soil is dry, the second day the root is dry, the third day the top turns yellow. I want whoever took my trees to take care," Liew said.
Because of the thefts, Liew has done what he never thought he would have to do, and that is chaining and padlocking his prized trees.
In addition to the locks, he has added extra security cameras and alarms.
Liew says it makes him cry to see the empty spaces where his favorite trees used to stand.
Now he's using "stand-ins." He hopes the real ones find their way home soon.
He is offering up to $20,000 for their return.
"It is difficult for a thief to sell for good money unless he keep for himself.
But if he doesn't know how to take care, they are going to die that's why I feel sad," Liew said.
Anyone who has information is asked to call Crimestoppers at 955-8300.