Leeward emergency center targeted by thieves, supplies stolen

Local News
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Emergency supplies stored in an old World War II bunker on the leeward side were stolen by thieves who broke in sometime over the Labor Day weekend.

The Maili Point emergency operations center on Farrington Highway is used by the city during natural disasters. Emergency Management Agency volunteers meet for regular meetings and to coordinate emergency response on the leeward side.

But sometime over the Labor Day weekend, officials discovered thieves broke into the center and stole several supplies.

The emergency center is on clearly marked government property — there are signs warning the public to keep out. But officials say that doesn’t stop many from trespassing as there’s graffiti on the walls.

But this time, those involved with the theft went too far. The lock to the office space was broken and the thieves took what they wanted, including emergency food supplies, cases of bottled water, a portable stove, rice cooker, grill, coolers, flood lights, light bulbs, air beds, pots, pans and other cooking utensils.

Department spokesman John Cummings said “I will say, the lock on there was pretty robust. I was just out on the site. It took some effort to get into that room.”

The thieves trashed the place in the process. And that’s not all. The center’s restroom was also was broken into, with some of the stolen supplies used and left behind for the part-time groundskeeper to discover.

“For the longest time, the whole community knows that the site is there,” Cummings said. “We always relied on the community to keep an eye on it for us and also acknowledge that the building is there to support everybody else. No one really touched it. Well, you know, times are changing now.

“Fortunately, no city equipment was stolen. But unfortunately, (what was stolen) volunteers had gotten themselves with their own money, their own fund raising efforts. That’s what kind of hurts.”

The city says it is looking into installing an alarm system to prevent another theft from happening again. The Honolulu Police Department is also investigating the case, classified a burglary.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call police.

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