Po­lice of­fi­cers lauded for ar­rests and cash re­cov­ery

The Maui News - - TODAY’S PEOPLE - By CHRIS SUGIDONO Staff Writer

WAILUKU — The Maui Po­lice Depart­ment’s Crime Re­duc­tion Unit was com­mended for its ef­forts dur­ing Wed­nes­day’s Po­lice Com­mis­sion meet­ing af­ter mak­ing 71 ar­rests and re­cov­er­ing more than $3,000 in cash last month.

As­sis­tant Chief Dean Rickard rec­og­nized the unit’s six mem­bers, two sergeants and four of­fi­cers, who also re­cov­ered 280 grams of crys­tal metham­phetamine, two il­le­gal firearms and ar­rested two fugi­tives in April.

“Last month was a very, very suc­cess­ful month for them,” Rickard said of the spe­cial­ized unit that ad­dresses con­cerns out­side of nor­mal pa­trol du­ties. “Ba­si­cally they’re tak­ing some of the bur­den off of our pa­trol of­fi­cers and have more time to con­duct in-depth in­ves­ti­ga­tions. They’ve just been at it, and they’re con­tin­u­ously do­ing great work.

“We look for­ward to great things in the fu­ture as well.”

Aside from its work last month, the unit ar­rested five peo­ple in a flurry of car thefts on May 9 and 10, Maui po­lice spokesman Lt. Gregg Okamoto said. The ar­rests fol­lowed the re­cov­ery of four stolen ve­hi­cles from Cen­tral and East Maui.

“It is not con­firmed how, or if all four stolen ve­hi­cles are con­nected in any way as in­ves­ti­ga­tors are still piec­ing things to­gether,” Okamoto said via email Fri­day.

Around 6 a.m. May 9, a 26-year-old man was ar­rested for unau­tho­rized con­trol of a pro­pelled ve­hi­cle on Hana High­way in Paia, Okamoto said. Two hours later, a 51-year-old man was ar­rested at a Paia res­i­dence for the same of­fense.

About 8:50 a.m. May 10, a 19-year-old man was ar­rested at a res­i­dence on Lower Waiehu Beach Road for car theft. Later that day at around 3:20 p.m., a 30-yearold woman and a 30-yearold man were ar­rested at Kanaha Beach Park.

As part of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, po­lice re­cov­ered a stolen white 2017 Nis­san Ti­tan truck at MacGre­gor Point in Maalaea and a black 2017 Ford truck at Baby Beach in Paia on May 8, Okamoto said. Po­lice also re­cov­ered a stolen gray 2017 Honda HRV the next day at Paia Bay.

A stolen blue 2005 Toy­ota MPVH was re­cov­ered May 10 on Lower Main Street in Wailuku.

Two of the peo­ple ar­rested were re­leased pend­ing fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion, while the other three have yet to be charged, Okamoto said.

The depart­ment’s Vice Di­vi­sion also was lauded for ini­ti­at­ing 79 cases and ex­e­cut­ing 11 search war­rants, last month. The di­vi­sion, which in­cludes of­fi­cer David Jakubczak, also re­cently part­nered with the FBI, Drug En­force­ment Ad­min­is­tra­tion and Home­land Se­cu­rity to seize over 4 pounds of crys­tal meth be­ing trans­ferred by an Oahu res­i­dent on a flight to Maui.

“This is an on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion we would not nor­mally bring up, but I thought it should be men­tioned to stress the col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­fort of our agency’s in­ves­ti­ga­tors with our fed­eral coun­ter­parts,” Capt. Don­ald Kane­mitsu told com­mis­sion­ers. “This is kind of rare where you see FBI, DEA and HSI all work­ing to­gether in uni­son with no is­sues.”

In other mat­ters, the depart­ment re­ceived ap­proval to use $400,000 to re­pair its drainage sys­tem at the Wailuku Po­lice Sta­tion. Po­lice Chief Tivoli Faaumu

told com­mis­sion­ers that the drainage sys­tem was built into the build­ing’s flat roof and has de­te­ri­o­rated over the past 30 years.

“We quickly learned there was a lot of water com­ing into the build­ing so we looked at a way to re­pair it,” Faaumu said.

“One way is to send a cam­era into the drain pipe and in­su­late it.”

Faaumu said the money would come from sav­ings in other pro­grams. Re­cent heavy rains dam­aged sup­plies and other ma­te­ri­als at the sta­tion, a depart­ment of­fi­cial said.

Chris Sugidono can be reached at csug­i­dono@mauinews.com.

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