HONOLULU (KHON2) — The State says six emergency sirens have been vandalized.
Sources say more than 20 batteries were stolen from sirens in Punaluu all the way to Turtle Bay.
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Residents are dumbfounded that this actually happened. They say more security measures should be taken to make sure it does not happen again.
City worker Kimo Perez saw the remnants of the theft when he came to work early in the morning on Thursday, April 22.
“Officers came by, they were waiting for the guy to come fix this so I told him that I found two white cables on the ground. And then the officer told me that they stole all the batteries,” said Perez.
“That’s crazy, really crazy!” said Cindy Ching, a Punaluu resident.
The batteries were in a metal box with a small lock about six feet from the ground. Residents point out that it is easy enough to break it open.
“They have to make it harder for them to break in or maybe higher because if its down below of course they can reach it,” said Ching.
There is a sign on the metal box that says anyone who tampers or damages it can get up to ten years in prison and a $25,000 fine. It is not clear what the thieves can do with more than 20 batteries.
“It’s pretty sad that they’re out stealing batteries for the emergency alert system, that’s pretty bad,” said Brad Akeo, a Hauula resident.
They are worried about what happens if there is an emergency on their side of the island.
“It’s a really big concern because like I said, the ocean’s right here. So if something were to happen and we wouldn’t know about it, then it could take all of us out,” said Angela Lee, a Punaluu resident.
The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency sent a statement saying, “Police reports have been filed, and the necessary replacement parts will be received and installed early next week … maintaining the operability of our outdoor siren network is critical to protecting the people and property on our islands.”
A spokesman adds that residents can be alerted on their TV and radio, as well as their mobile phones. They added everyone should sign up for the County Alert System.