Akaka Falls might see patrol to bar break-ins
HILO » Hawaii County Councilman Dominic Yagong is concerned the high number of car break-ins at Akaka Falls State Park will eventually hurt businesses in Honomu.
"Windows are getting smashed, people are stealing (tourists') bags," Yagong said. "If people start saying, 'Don't go to Akaka Falls,' (Honomu businesses) are dead."
Yagong quoted police statistics that said 180 vehicles have been broken into at the park over the past six months. Most of the victims were tourists.
To address the problem, Yagong has scheduled a Nov. 14 meeting with state and county agencies as well as car rental companies, business owners and residents. It is slated for 7 p.m. at the Honomu Gym.
"Akaka Falls is one of the most visited places here," he said. "The goal (of the meeting) is bring awareness to the issue, to bring these agencies together that could help us address this issue."
Yagong said two ideas that need to be discussed are forming a community neighborhood patrol and hiring rangers to monitor the area.
A community neighborhood patrol would be made up of volunteers equipped with radios who would regularly patrol the area and report suspicious activity to police.
They would "serve as a deterrent to people wanting to commit a crime," Yagong said. "It's not aloha when people go to a place to visit and get robbed."