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Thieves Strip Radio Tower in Kaʻū

April 14, 2021, 12:57 PM HST
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Big Island authorities are looking for information on a theft that occurred earlier this month in Kaʻū.

Radio tower batteries. PC: HPD

Hawai’i Island police have requested public assistance to locate more than a dozen deep-cycle batteries with an estimated value of $3,900 that were removed from a radio tower in a remote area of Kaʻū during the first week of April. The tower is part of a communications network that provides essential communication for emergency responders. 

On Wednesday, April 7, 2021, Kaʻū patrol officers responded to the radio tower after a loss of radio signal was detected. Upon their arrival, radio technicians determined that 13 large deep-cycle batteries had been removed. The batteries weigh nearly 200 pounds each and are valued around $300 per battery. The tower was offline for roughly 10 hours before power was temporarily restored with full power restored on Thursday, April 8.

Detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigation Section assigned to this theft followed up on tips from the public and were able to determine that shortly after the incident the batteries were being sold or distributed in the Kaʻū area. Detectives have been following up on leads regarding who may be responsible for either the theft or have possession of the stolen batteries.

Anyone who may have information on the theft, location of the batteries, or those that may have been in possession of the batteries is encouraged to contact Detective Donovan Kohara at (808) 326-4646 Ext. 238; or via email at [email protected]. They may also contact the police department’s non-emergency number at (808) 935-3311.

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