Waimanalo farmer frustrated by rash of thefts

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Frustration for a Waimanalo farmer who’s been a victim of multiple thefts. The latest incident involved three men who stole about 200 coconuts in one night.

The farmer says other farms in Waimanalo are dealing with the same problem. He points out that it’s hurting their livelihood.

The owner of Mulkern Nursery says thieves went into the property around 11 o’clock at night on April 30, climbed his coconut trees, and chopped the fruits down. They apparently took their time in taking off with their haul.

“They husked the coconuts on my site, took just the coconuts, left just the trash for me to pick up. So I said whoa, that’s not polite at all,” said Kevin Mulkern.

He says it’s frustrating because farmers are dealing with enough hardships making ends meet. And this is only one of many incidents.

“We had lost tangerines, breadfruit, fertilizer, what else, aluminum parts, and most recently the coconuts,” said Mulkern.

The owner has since put up signs to avoid confusion about anyone taking fruits from this nursery. There are signs all around the property and even on the trees. Mulkern says other farmers have also been targeted and have expressed the same frustration.

“Most of the farmers, I hate to say it, are not reporting agricultural theft. My thefts are minor compared to other things that are happening. I think they look at it as kind of a waste of time,” said Mulkern.

HPD encourages victims to report the thefts. Crimestoppers has released photos of the three suspects tied to stealing the coconuts. The men are all described as having a slim build with dark, short to medium length hair.

“People may wonder why we’re talking about these stolen coconuts, but ultimately these people did trespass on to the property and did steal the coconuts. And these coconuts are a source of income for this particular person,” said Sgt. Chris Kim of Honolulu Crimestoppers.

Crimestoppers has received some tips. Anyone with additional information is asked to call 955-8300. The theft of the coconuts is considered a felony because it was over 25 pounds.

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