Lava-relief group’s storage container burglarized

  • IKAIKA MARZO

A community group founded to provide relief during the 2018 Kilauea eruption was found burgled Tuesday, with thousands of dollars of property missing.

The grassroots group Pu‘uhonua o Puna established an information and supply hub — informally known simply as “The Hub” — at the intersection of highways 132 and 130 shortly after the eruption began last year. Although the disaster ended, a storage container of supplies remained on site in case of another disaster.

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Tuesday morning, Pu‘uhonua o Puna co-founder Ikaika Marzo found that shipping container forced open, its lock cut, with several items missing.

“I was stunned,” Marzo said. “This was a place that the community had designated to be for the community.”

Among the stolen items were two gas generators, one of which Marzo said was “brand new.” Together, the generators have a value of approximately $3,500, Marzo said.

Other missing items include what Marzo estimated was about $600 of batteries, as well as miscellaneous items such as tarps. Marzo said he did not have a complete list of all the items that were stolen, but noted that only items within the storage container were stolen.

Marzo said Pu‘uhonua o Puna only recently stopped keeping somebody on site through the nights because he didn’t think anyone would attempt to steal from The Hub.

“I never thought we would be a victim of this sort of crime,” Marzo said. “It’s sad to see.”

Puna Patrol Division Capt. John Briski said the burglary remains under investigation, adding that it does not appear to be a particularly unique crime.

“It just happens to be a location that is near and dear to a lot of people’s hearts,” Briski said.

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Marzo said Pu‘uhonua o Puna will determine a more secure location for its property within the next few days. In the meantime, someone will remain on site throughout the nights to prevent further burglaries.

Email Michael Brestovansky at mbrestovansky@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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