East Hawaii News

Sign thief in Kaʻū District strikes again

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The Hawaiʻi Police Department is on the trail of a sign thief who has struck again.

Capt. Akira Edmoundson with the Kaʻū Patrol said via email that two green mile marker 60 signs were recently taken from alongside Māmalahoa Highway. The mile marker is about a mile northeast of Whittington Beach Park.

The new sign thefts bring the total to more than 18 along a 30-mile stretch of Māmalahoa Highway in the areas of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, Pāhala, Punaluʻu Black Sands Beach, Nāʻālehu and Waiʻōhinu.

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The other stolen signs informed the public about a variety of things, including nene crossings, tsunami evacuation areas and locations that are slippery when wet. A Hawai’i Scenic Byway sign also has gone missing

Capt. Edmoundson said the signs were first reported stolen on Aug. 30 and they were easily accessible from the highway.

The crimes associated with the removal and absconding with the signs range from fourth-degree to second-degree theft. Fourth-degree theft is a petty misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in prison and a fine of up to $1,000. Second-degree theft is a Class C felony, which carries a punishment of up to five years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

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Capt. Edmoundson said he doesn’t remember any past incidents of road sign thefts in the area.

Anyone who might know something about the thefts is asked to call the police department’s non-emergency number at 808-935-3311 or Crime Stoppers at 808-961-8300. They also can contact Officer Paul Wright III via email at [email protected].

Nathan Christophel
Nathan Christophel has more than 20 years of experience in journalism, starting out as a reporter and working his way up to become a copy editor and page designer, most recently at the Hawaii Tribune-Herald in Hilo.
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