(BIVN) – The County of Hawaiʻi says rescue equipment was stolen from a locked storage shed at Pohoiki on Monday morning.
County officials issued this media release about the theft:
Thieves broke into a locked storage shed at Isaac Kepo‘okalani Hale Beach Park early Monday morning, and stole Hawai‘i Fire Department equipment including a Polaris off-road vehicle used to launch the park’s rescue water craft.
The theft occurred around 5:00 a.m., and a security guard just coming on duty witnessed two males escaping on a Polaris 500 utility vehicle loaded with equipment, according to the Fire Department.
The equipment included a Lifepack automated external defibrillator (AED), a Motorola portable radio, a rescue paddle board, a spinal immobilization board and 200 feet of heavy-duty rescue rope. The estimated value of the stolen equipment was $30,000.
The theft of the safety equipment takes away much-needed assets that assist the Fire Department Ocean Safety Officers (lifeguards) in performing water rescues.
“Because of this theft, the beach park and Puna district lost the service of the Rescue Water Craft — which is priceless in saving lives at one of the most dangerous shore breaks on the island,” Hawaii Fire Department Deputy Chief Lance Uchida said. “The Polaris was used to launch the Ski at the beach park, and without the Ski, we put our lifeguards in unneeded danger during water rescues.”
“We ask the public to please assist the police in finding the perpetrators,” Uchida said.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the Police non-emergency number at 935-3311.