(BIVN) – Hawaiʻi Island Police say vehicle thefts continue to be an island-wide problem.
For example, on September 28, a Toyota Tacoma truck was stolen from a parking lot in Keaʻau. Police issued this alert on the theft:
The truck has a bug guard on the hood and a silver “bull” type bar on the front-end. The trailer is described as a two-wheel wooden type trailer that had white fender skirts and carrying a pile of wooden pallets.
Police are asking anyone with information on the stolen truck and trailer to contact Officer Paul Wright at 808-965-2716, the police non-emergency number 808-935-3311 or Crime Stoppers at 808-961-8300. Tipsters to Crime Stoppers may be eligible for a reward.
We spoke to Bobbi Cuttance, the victim in that crime, shortly after it occurred.
“I was living in Papaya Farms Road before the lava flow and had to evacuate,” Cuttance said. “I evacuated to Hawaiian Acres and you know my little old car just didn’t deal with the roads up there so I bought a Tacoma truck.”
Cuttance says she had the car for about three months, and was just starting to move back to her property, which was spared from lava inundation. “And the very first day I took a load of stuff out there and I stopped on the way to buy some cleaning stuff,” she said, “and came back out and my truck was stolen. Gone.”
“I can’t say, I can’t really describe how that impacted me,” Cuttance said, but she says she did feel really depressed. “You know, its been hard few months anyway and that was just just really too much, you know? And I haven’t been able to find it I really tried to look hard for it.”
“The police haven’t told me a lot,” Cuttance said. “They did put out a news bulletin about it which I was really grateful for. But you know, Big Island Thieves on Facebook actually is where I’ve got a lot of information and people have told me stuff on that and it just seems to be like Tacomas – mine was a 2004 Tacoma – are getting stolen.”
Cuttance said that at the same time when her Tacoma was stolen, “there were 4 stolen in about 36 hours. There
was mine from Keaʻau Shopping Center, it was about 7 o’clock at night, 7:30 at night. And then there was one of the the mall in town that night, there was one the next day that was stolen out of a garage up in Volcano, and that Friday afternoon that I lost mine, somebody stole a Tacoma from up at the Hilo Medical Center, when the person that owned it was at work.”
“I mean, there’s got to be some really organized ring happening to, to deal with that number of Tacomas,” she said. “I’d like to see the police force being resourced so they can deal with it. And I’d also like to see the Justice Department, you know, deal with it in a way that those people have to get put away for a while.”
“I mean, it’s kind of like these people have got the rest of us under siege at the moment,” Cuttance said. “If you’re gonna buy a Tacoma, you better have a kill switch and a probably some sort of GPS system or something in it, as well.”