West Hawaii auto thefts on the rise, police say

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KONA, Hawaii: A rash of auto and moped thefts in recent weeks have police warning the public in a media release:

SOURCE: Hawaii County Police

Big Island police are warning the public that West Hawaiʻi has experienced a rash of auto and moped thefts in recent weeks.

The auto thieves seem to be targeting Honda sedans, Toyota Tacoma pickup trucks and mopeds, but other vehicles have also been stolen. Since July 1, police have investigated 25 cases of unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle.

Police advise the public to lock vehicle doors, even those parked in a private driveway. It takes only a few minutes to steal a car left unattended and unlocked.

Police recommend that managers of apartment and condominium complexes with surveillance equipment inspect the equipment regularly to ensure that it is functioning properly.

Police ask that anyone with information about who might be responsible for these auto thefts call Detective Sean Smith at 326-4646, extension 262, or the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

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