UPDATE: MacKenzie Park Restrooms Closed Indefinitely Following Theft
by Dave Smith
***Updated at 12:05 p.m. on May 1.***
The newly installed composting restrooms at MacKenzie State Recreation Area will be closed indefinitely following the theft last weekend of some electrical components, a state spokeswoman said.
It is not known how long it will take to replace stolen parts and repair damage resulting from the theft, said Department of Land and Natural Resources spokeswoman Deborah Ward. Security improvements will also be required, she said.
Items stolen included solar photovoltaic panels and other equipment, some of which was specific to the sewage containment system and not of much value, Ward said.
The new comfort station – which replaced a previous longstanding substandard facility there – was part of ongoing work at the shoreline park on Highway 137 that included improvements to parking areas and the park’s access road.
Anyone with information on the theft is asked to call police or the Hilo office of the DLNR’s Department of Conservation and Resource Enforcement at (808) 974-6208.
Posted at 5:24 p.m. on Tuesday, April 30:
Police are investigating the theft over the weekend of a solar power system recently installed at MacKenzie State Recreational Area in lower Puna.
Police said someone apparently climbed on top of the park’s composting restrooms, which were installed several weeks ago, to steal the photovoltaic panels. They then cut through a heavy-duty, chain-link fence to get access to the control box and a water pump.
The park is located on Highway 137, also known as the Red Road, between Pohoiki and Opihikao.
The total value of the items stolen and damaged was more than $5,000.
Police ask that anyone with information on the theft call Officer Joseph Passmore at 965-2716.
Anonymous tipsters can call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.