Big Island community shocked over senseless acts of vandalism

KAILUA-KONA — Police have increased their patrols after a vandalism spree was discovered in Waimea on the Big Island, resulting in excess of $10,000 in damage.

“It’s just a destruction of property,” Capt. Sherry Bird with the Hawaii Police Department said Friday.

Bird said the vandalism occurred overnight earlier this month. The most severe damage was done to the restroom at the Waimea Park Bandstand, where at least one toilet and a sink were smashed. The surrounding area outside the bathroom was also trashed.

Because of the destruction, the facility has been closed until it can be repaired. While vandalism occurred at several locations in town, Bird said, nothing appeared to have been stolen.

The Waimea Elementary and Middle Schools were also victims of vandalism. Janice English, middle school principal, said three windows were damaged on the new Science Technology Engineering Aina Math (STEAM) building, which houses the maker space robotics lab.

The STEAM building was finished in January.

Three of the double-paned windows were smacked repeatedly with rocks, causing them to splinter. The cost to repair them, English said, is $1,000 each. In the meantime, the windows have been boarded up.

“The kids feel violated,” English said Friday. “Their building and campus was violated. They feel sad that someone would vandalize their building.”

The destruction is evidence of anger, English added.

There were also four screens ripped out of windows on portables.

The chaos didn’t stop at the middle school. There was a mess discovered at the elementary school, where preschool toys and signs were overturned and a lock to a shed holding tools was broken. Nothing was taken.

“There was no logic to it,” English added. “There was no pattern to it.”

The principal said it will take six weeks for the windows to be repaired. The school also plans to add $20,000 worth of interior and exterior surveillance cameras on campus.

“I would say kids are disappointed that a small group of people would create such havoc in their community,” English said.

Aside from the park restroom and schools, there were other smaller instances of vandalism throughout Waimea on Nov. 8, which included broken building and car windows.

“I’m not aware of a series of property damage of this greatness in such a short amount of time,” Bird said. “Everyone is disappointed that someone would do this. It’s sad that someone would do this.”


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