For the second time in one week, vandals destroyed bathroom sinks at a Kahala beach park.
Honolulu police are investigating both incidents.
KHON2 spoke with the city who said it’s not sure why the bathhouses at Waialae Beach Park are being targeted but the cost to fix the damage is draining on resources.
The latest damage was caused inside the women’s restroom at Waialae Beach Park. A sink was smashed to pieces yet again.
“It’s just pointless. It’s so redundant and it’s just a waste of our resources to have to go back again and again,” said Nathan Serota, with the City and County of Honolulu Parks and Recreation Department.
We’re told police officers called parks staff to report the sink destroyed again late Monday night.
The sink had just been replaced hours earlier following a previous vandalism incident on Friday, Feb. 9.
“They went in there and all four sinks in both the men’s and women’s side were just completely obliterated,” Serota said.
That cost $2,000 to repair and we’re told that’s just a fraction of the cost to fix damage caused by vandals.
From 2014-2017, crews have dealt with 660 cases of vandalism at city parks.
We’re told the damage ranges from graffiti to broken pipes and the price tag for those repairs over the years totals more than $548,000.
“When you take into account when we have to contract out the work, it’s probably closer to a million dollars over that three year period that we had to spend addressing vandalism,” Serota said. “There’s other things our money could be going toward – renovations, cleaning up the bathrooms, new facilities but we have to keep going over this again and again.”
“This is so disheartening and frustrating,” said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell. “It’s difficult enough maintaining public facilities, but to go back and replace what vandals destroyed makes the job much harder. These careless and disrespectful actions impact facilities that we all use, and it is really the entire community that suffers when these amenities are needlessly damaged.”
The city said it’s now looking to install security cameras outside the Waialae Beach Park bath houses.
“We have seen success with those over at Ala Moana regional park. Staff have not reported any significant vandalism over there in those two locations since they were installed,” Serota said.
If caught, the vandal(s) could be charged with Criminal Property Damage. The first case is considered 2nd Degree Criminal Property Damage, a Class C Felony, punishable by up to five years in prison.
The parks department and police are asking the public to be vigilant for anything suspicious. If you see something, say something and call police.
That did not include damage to park facilities that required larger capital improvement projects to repair the facility, such as when the bathroom facility at Kaiaka Bay Beach Park was destroyed by two arson incidents.
The project to completely repair the damage to that comfort station cost $337,000.