Tuesday, August 3, 1999

A suspect in one of six suspicious fires in Waikiki
since July 22 is caught on video by a security camera
at King's Village on July 28.

Waikiki fires point to
lone suspect

By Rod Ohira


There's a "firebug" in Waikiki who may be responsible for starting six fires since July 22.

"We're looking possibly at the same person because the locations (of the fires) are close together," said Detective Robert Cravalho of the Honolulu Police Department's fire-arson detail.

The most serious incidents were an apartment storage-room fire July 23 at 2412 Prince Edward St. that caused $35,000 damage and an early morning fire Friday that did $10,000 damage to a hut tub at the Cabana at Waikiki on Cartwright Road.

Other fires damaged an abandoned restaurant at Koa and Uluniu streets July 22, and Dumpsters or trash cans at Waikiki Elementary School and the Kapahulu public library, sometime between July 24-26, and a trash can at King's Village on July 28.

A surveillance camera captured the King's Village suspect starting the 11:35 p.m. fire. The man is photographed throwing a lighted match into a trash can and walking off.

All fire-related crimes are felony offenses, no matter the amount of damage, says Cravalho.

"We're concerned about any criminal behavior," the detective added. "He may start small but as the behavior continues, the culprit gets more brazen.

"So he may be doing small fires now but he may graduate to bigger fires. We don't know for sure if the same person is responsible for all the fires but we need to stop it."

The King's Village trash-can fire could have caused significant damage had it not been for security surveillance, Cravalho said.

Anyone with information about the cases is asked to call Cravalho at 529-3873 or CrimeStoppers at 955-8300.

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