Beach-goer’s truck stolen, set ablaze

  • Erika Arnett / Special to The Garden Island

    A Princeville man’s 2014 Toyota Tacoma was stolen, taken for a joyride and set on fire last week.

KILAUEA — A Princeville man’s 2014 Toyota Tacoma was stolen from Kahili Beach, also known as Rock Quarry Beach, at the mouth of the Kilauea River, and set on fire less than an hour later, last week.

Rory Arnett was returning from a day at the beach when he found an empty space where his truck should have been. He immediately called 911, and a police officer arrived 15 minutes later.

“I did a few minutes of him trying to take my statement when he got a call,” Arnett said. “He’s like, ‘Oh my God, there’s a truck on fire at Spalding (Monument) that matches your description.’”

Law enforcement and Arnett soon confirmed the burning vehicle, located 14 miles from Kahili Beach by road, was indeed Arnett’s.

“This isn’t normal. I’ve been going down to the Rock Quarry for 20 years,” Arnett said. “I haven’t really ever heard of much theft or anything down there.”

The keys to Arnett’s vehicle had been left in an unlocked toolbox in the bed of the truck, which was stolen between 3 and 3:25 p.m., according to the Kaua‘i Police Department’s preliminary report. It was found on fire at Spalding Monument at approximately 3:40 p.m.

“Based on the short time frame, it appears the unknown suspect(s) stole the vehicle, took a short joy ride, then lit the vehicle on fire,” KPD Patrol Services Bureau Assistant Chief Mark Begley told The Garden Island in an email.

“This type of crime is not something new, and there has not been an increase in these particular types of crimes recently. However, there has been an overall increase in crimes since last year. With significantly more people on island right now, we expect an increase in crime versus the same time last year,” said Begley.

Arnett’s wife, Erika Arntee, hopes people will take the incident as a reminder to be a bit more cautious.

“Be careful — but everyone’s been awesome. KPD has been awesome,” Erika Arnett said. “The community has been great. There’s definitely more wonderful people here than not.”

6 Comments
  1. I saw a Vampire once July 23, 2021 12:12 am Reply

    Funny thing is you know, this also goes for the same treatment on the internet. They might accuse me of doing this.

    Because they’ll think they know my name. From Hanalei. What weird people Kauai has too.


  2. I saw a Vampire once July 23, 2021 2:49 am Reply

    If I was the detective for the case, I would start by asking questions on who did you see around. Or who you are familiar with. Or do you know anyone who knows you. Neighbor? And then see if they come up with something.


  3. Da Shadow July 23, 2021 4:03 am Reply

    Those pesky tourists, causing trouble again…


  4. Enrique July 24, 2021 11:11 am Reply

    People who stole and burned this truck should be hog tied and thrown in prison.


  5. I saw a Vampire once July 24, 2021 3:13 pm Reply

    Who the heck needs church group to make money and a living? Not the point. Just find the crook. Who cares about prayer for the thief?


  6. biden harris 2020 July 24, 2021 4:30 pm Reply

    i hope you had full coverage, cause then might be able to get a downpayment on a new toyota tacoma!


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