The state is being irresponsible by not doing enough to stop illegal activity on state owned land in Wahiawa.
That’s according to lawmakers who say they’ve also been getting complaints for years about the area being used as a chop shop and for illegal dumping.
We’ve also learned that residents have complained about other crimes happening. And using the property as a chop shop for stolen cars is not the worst of it.
The land near Kamehameha Highway and Nui Avenue is owned by the state agency Agribusiness Development Corporation or ADC. A man whose car was stolen took pictures of the area after he recovered his car there, and learned that a massive chop shop was operating there for years. Now we’re learning that there could be other crimes happening.
“I’ve heard reports of homeless encampments, but also illegal drug trafficking, even sex trafficking reports, so these are really serious allegations,” said Rep. Amy Perruso, who represents the district.
ADC acknowledged that there is some criminal activity going on but said they did not want to send sheriffs there and clear it out because criminals would just come back, so it would be a waste of resources. State Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz, who also represents the area, disagrees.
“I don’t think it’s in the state’s best interest or the community’s best interest to have a flippant attitude about saying that it’s not worth putting resources in,” he said.
The senator adds that lawmakers have provided funding and positions to provide security for the lands owned by ADC. And should look into a partnership with law enforcement to stop the illegal activity.
ADC says it has set up barriers multiple times but they keep getting taken down. And it wants to settle a pending lawsuit over the property before committing more resources. But lawmakers want something done now.
“Regardless of the lawsuit, we have to secure all of the state’s assets,” said Sen. Dela Cruz.
“Many citizens in my community have expressed frustration because it’s common knowledge and the community sentiment as far as I’ve heard is they would really like action taken,” said Rep. Perruso.
Lawmakers says ADC can ask for more resources in the next legislative session if that’s what is needed to get the job done.