LIHU’E — A woman visitor from Lacey, Wash. who had her purse stolen from her
in a parking lot outside a Waipouli condominium last Tuesday is thankful for
Kaua’i police who arrested three suspects four hours after the heist.
incident involving Kristy Shanafelt, a 51-year-old school teacher, occurred at
9:35 p.m. Tuesday.
By 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, police—acting on information
provided by the victim and witnesses—arrested two adults and one minor
without incident on suspicion of second-degree robbery.
Shanafelt, who was
not injured in the purse-snatching, and her husband praised the police for
“The police officers and the detectives involved in my case are
great assets to the Kaua’i community and to the visitors who come to this
island,” Shanafelt and her husband, Craig, Shanafelt, 54, a retired former
administrator with the North Thurston School District in Lacey, wrote in a
letter to The Garden Island.
The woman victim also works for the school
The couple were visiting Kaua’i for the 11th consecutive year.
They said they usually stay four weeks each time they come to Kaua’i.
to the incident, the couple had dinner with friends in ‘Ele’ele.
returning to their condominium after dinner, the couple got out of their car in
the parking lot and began walking to their unit. Because she had blisters on
her feet, her husband walked ahead of her, Kristy Shanafelt said.
was talking and walking ahead when I saw these guys come up and split,” she
said. “I thought, ‘This doesn’t feel good.'”
As she made a motion to
protect her purse, one of the two suspects “grabbed and wrenched it off my
shoulder,” she related.
Craig Shanafelt said he heard a “blood-curdling
scream” from his wife. He thought she perhaps had stepped on a toad.
he realized his wife had been accosted, he ran after the suspect.
meantime, a youth who was staying in the condominium heard the victim scream,
came out of his unit and saw the suspects get into their vehicle and drive off,
Kristy Shanafelt said.
The youth jotted down the make and model of the
vehicle and the vehicle’s license number and gave the information to
Patrol officers D. Loo and G. Landagora responded initially, and
detectives Roy Asher and Marvin Rivera and two other detectives followed
through on the investigation.
Rivera and Asher were recently recognized by
police brass with solving a North Shore murder last month.
suspects in the purse-snatching were taken to Kaua’i Community Correctional
Facility, while the juvenile, 18, was released into Family Court custody.
The victim’s purse was recovered, but $80, some cosmetics and small items were
Staff writer Lester Chang can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 225) or