East Hawaii News

$25K Theft at The Nature Conservancy in Ka’u

June 30, 2015, 2:46 PM HST
* Updated June 30, 2:58 PM
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The Nature Conservancy was hit with a massive loss Monday when $25,000 worth of equipment was stolen from a storage unit at the agency’s Kaiholena Preserve in Ka’u.

According to conservancy officials, the theft took place around dawn and the individuals who stole the items were seen driving a black Toyota pickup through roads from macadamia orchards towards Pahala.

Among the items stolen were a 2009 Honda utility terrain vehicle, painted in green and tan camouflage, an all-terrain vehicle 500, a 2009 Troy Flatbed trailer with a wooden bed and black wheel rails with no railings, and a variety of smaller equipment. Officials say the majority of the items stolen belonged directly to the conservancy, but the ATV 500 belonged to a Conservancy contractor.

“We are shocked and saddened by this theft, which is a big setback to our conservation efforts at Kaiholena,” said Mark Fox, the Conservancy’s acting executive director. “We are working with the police to apprehend the thieves and are offering a reward for information leading to the return of the stolen items.”

This isn’t the first time the conservancy has been faced with a similar situation. Shalan Crysdale, the Conservancy’s Hawai’i Island Program director, said that five-hundred meters of deer mesh fencing was stolen about a year ago. The fencing had been installed by an all-volunteer labor crew.

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The Nature Conservancy is working with the Hawai’i Police Department and asks that anyone with information about the location of the items or the identity of who is responsible for the thefts to call the Ka’u Police Station at 939-2520.

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