HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Maui Economic Opportunity said catalytic converters were stolen from five of its buses at the Puunene base yard between Friday, July 23, and Monday, July 26.
Officials said the thefts will cost the nonprofit agency between $6,000 and $7,000 to replace.
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One of the buses was an eight-passenger vehicle with wheelchair accessibility and the other four 23-passenger buses are used to transport people with disabilities, children and kupuna.
Officials said the eight-passenger bus will be repaired and MEO will not see service affected for its paratransit fleet. The thefts on the larger buses are more problematic, according to MEO, with schools and the Kauona Senior Services programs reopening.
“These thefts could not have come at a worse time. We are facing tight budgets and insurance will not cover the cost of repairs and parts replacement. In addition, the four larger buses are part of our Human Services transportation system, which was gearing up for the reopening of kupuna activities and schools next week. We will make do, but it is frustrating.”Debbie Cabebe, Maui Economic Opportunity CEO
Officials said the thieves cut through the base yard fence line that faces Maui Veterans Highway. The eight-passenger bus theft occurred around 1:30 a.m. on July 23, according to MEO, and the thieves cut the exhaust and stole the device.
The thefts on the larger busses occurred between the evening of July 24 and the morning of July 26, according to MEO. Staff members and a contracted security company are now monitoring the property, according to Cabebe.
Anyone with information on these thefts is asked to call the Maui Police Department non-emergency number at (808) 244-6400 and reference report numbers 21-025629 and 21-025987.