Vandals steal plants from Diamond Head garden - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Vandals steal plants from Diamond Head garden

Gilbert Lum Gilbert Lum
Ed Cohen Ed Cohen

By Holly Juscen – bio | email 

Some are calling it a crime against nature. Some vandals stole about twenty five plants out of a beautifully manicured garden on Diamond Head Road between the lighthouse and the lookout.

The thieves stole the plants over the weekend and the estimated value of the loss is over $1000. But to 84-year-old Gilbert Lum it's so much more. The Manoa man has been tending to the garden for 12 years, even though it is on state land.

One plant that was stolen was a Ponytail Palm. Lum planted it nearly five years ago just after his wife died, " They took that plant and a lot more from one end of the garden to the other. I looked around and this one was missing and that one was missing," said Lum.

The Diamond Head garden is very well-known in the community and tourists from all over the world visit it year round. Many say it's a shame this had to happen, "it's a crime against the citizens and against nature, because those plants wont live even if they are replanted or sold a supermarket," said Ed Cohen, a tourist from San Diego.

Corey Funai of Kahala surfs frequently at Diamond Head and see Gilbert all the time, "at least Gilbert can cultivate it back up. He comes here everyday and drinks coffee with his friends --- it's a ashame."

At this point Lum has not decided whether he will plant another palm to honor his wife, if I put another one there someone might steal it again. Maybe I should put a plant that no one wants like a plumeria plant," said Lum.

A fund has been set up at the Bank of Hawaii called the 'Diamond Head Garden Fund.' Donations are being accepted so that new plants can be purchased and the garden can be restored to the way it was.

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