Reward offered for ‘stolen memories’ from Anahola rental

ANAHOLA — Sometimes a theft leaves a hole that money can’t fill.

For Nathan Nowack and Erich Chen, two professional wedding photographers whose equipment was stolen from their beach house rental in Anahola, the loss is monetary.

For their clients — Arnel and Kristen Manegdeg, who were married Jan. 30 in Waikapu on Maui — the loss of the video and photos of the once-in-a-lifetime wedding ceremony is even more painful.

“It was a gorgeous wedding which we will remember for a lifetime, but unfortunately, our wedding photographers were robbed on Sunday,” said Kristen Manegdeg.

The photographers were vacationing on Kaua‘i for a few days after the ceremony at a vacation rental on Poha Road, when, Kaua‘i police said, an unknown number of suspects entered the house through an unlocked door, sometime between 7:30 and 10 p.m.

Roughly $30,000 worth of electronics was stolen, including camera equipment, a laptop, and a key to a rental car.  

“The most important part was the wedding images we just captured on Maui,” Nowack said. “Our bride is saddened and we are trying everything we can.”

The newlyweds have family in Maui, but now live in California. They are devastated and waiting to see if anyone reports coming in contact with their wedding photographer’s camera equipment that was stolen.

“The owner of the rental house has matched our $1,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of all the images and equipment,” Nathan Manegdeg said, so $2,000 in total is being offered for information.

“Both Arnel and I are very hopeful in having both the equipment and photos returned,” Kristen Manegdeg said. “We have done all we can in spreading the word and have faith in humanity.”

“We have weddings this weekend and we will be scrambling to get new equipment as well,” Nowack added. “It’s still very shocking for us but we’re trying our best to recover as much as possible.”

County officials said that police are investigating the matter.

“Unfortunately, vacation rentals can be an easy target as thieves recognize that people who are on vacation tend to have their guards down,” said Kaua‘i county spokesperson Sarah Blane. “And chances are that visitors will have jewelry, cameras, cell phones or laptops in their cars or rental units.

“These are all items of interest for thieves because they’re relatively easy to carry and conceal and can be resold for good money,” Blane added. “But by making a few simple adjustments, people can have more control of crime prevention than they might realize.”

Anyone with information on the theft is encouraged to call to police dispatch at 241-1711 or Crime Stoppers at 241-1887.


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