Police officers lauded for arrests and cash recovery
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 email@example.com.