Social media reunites Lanakila Meals on Wheels volunteer with stolen car

Local News

A Lanakila Meals on Wheels volunteer received great news Friday.

On Tuesday morning, Olaf Schoknecht was delivering his fourth meal of the day when someone stole his Chrysler Pacifica.

The car still had dozens of meals meant for kupuna around the island.

With his car still missing, Schoknecht missed his shift Friday. That’s when he got a call from his wife.

“I was sitting at home and the telephone rings, but it was actually my wife going to say, ‘There’s a picture on the social media with our car in the back, and I recognize our stickers on the back,’” he said.

A picture of Schoknecht’s car had been posted by Abe Mangrubang on the Facebook page Stolen Stuff Hawaii. It was parked next to a fire hydrant, just blocks from Schoknecht’s home in Waikele.

“I reported it as blocking a fire hydrant, and on the Facebook post, people chimed in, saying, ‘Hey, this vehicle was stolen. Call it in now,’ so that’s what I ended up doing,” Mangrubang explained.

Schoknecht got in touch with police and walked around the block to a very welcome sight.

“I saw my car, and I saw tears coming to my eyes, because I was so happy,” he said. “I couldn’t believe it. I’m 71. Who cries at 71? But I had tears in my eyes, because to me, it is 13 years old, but it’s a car. It works great and it’s great condition, and it does the job I needed to do. It brings the meals to the people.”

Aside from some trash and beach sand in the car, Schoknecht says everything is in good shape.

When it was found, dozens of meals were still in the trunk.

“I was surprised. It was just filthy inside,” he said, “and the doors are open, so I’m trying to air it out.”

Now that he’s got his car back, Schoknecht says he’ll be back delivering meals on Tuesday.

“I’m very happy and I have to say, I have to thank the police department for what they did, and taking the reports and everything. I have to thank KHON when Sara (Mattison) was there when she took the interview with me,” he said.

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