Friday, August 22, 2003

Library moves to accept
free burglar alarm

10 security companies offer to install
systems for Wahiawa's branch

After hearing about the rash of break-ins at the Wahiawa Public Library, at least 10 security companies offered to install a burglar alarm system.

Some, like Security Alarm Shop Inc., offered free installation and to cover monthly charges for a certain time period.

"Somebody had to help," said Security Alarm sales manager Lee Metcalf. "It's not going to end."

The state will select a company to install and service an alarm system for the library.

Two monitors, three computers, a fax machine and other items were stolen from the library sometime between 1:30 p.m. Sunday and 6 a.m. Monday. A janitor discovered that a heavy link chain and padlock used to secure the library's iron gate had been cut. More computers and a DVD collection was also stolen during previous break-ins.

Keith Fujio, administrative services officer for the state's libraries, said they are working with the state Department of Accounting & General Services and the Department of Public Safety in "seriously looking" into installing a security system at the library.

"We're trying to do this as fast as possible," said Fujio. "We have to go through the steps."

Fujio said Wahiawa Public Library is believed to be the only library statewide that has suffered so many break-ins. He added that there have been thefts and break-ins at other libraries, but they have not been hit by burglars as frequently as the library in Wahiawa.

An estimated $10,500 worth of items were stolen from the library between November and July.

Metcalf said the library would pay $30 a month after the first year if the state selects Security Alarm to install an alarm system.

Some employees of the library were glad to hear about the inquiries made by security companies with the state.

"I think it's fabulous. It's too bad something like this had to happen," said library assistant Anna McCandless.

"I'm just thrilled that security companies are coming forward," said Martha Hanson, of the Friends of Wahiawa Public Library.

Hanson said the organization is willing to pay a nominal fee for the alarm system and raise money to replace the stolen items.

"I'm really heartened by the response and the community and the offers being made to secure the library," she added.


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