Vandals wreck Mililani farm - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Vandals wreck Mililani farm

Jerry Punzal Jerry Punzal
Carroll Cox Carroll Cox

By Holly Juscen – bio | email

MILILANI (HawaiiNewsNow) – A shocking case of vandalism in Mililani. Police are searching for the people who chopped down 400 mature papaya trees Monday night. The owner of the farm, Jerry Punzal, says the vandals came in with a machette and hacked off the trees and took off, leaving the thousands of dollars worth of papayas behind.

"It was either kids or chronics. You can tell by looking at the farm, they didn't take the fruit, so we are dealing with someone who isn't using a lot of sense," said Punzal.

Punzal found the mess early Tuesday morning. Based on the destruction, he believes there could be at least two suspects. He did find one set of footprints that was consistent throughout the farm. Punzal is hoping they left even more evidence behind. Some who live on Lanikuhana Avenue have security cameras and may have caught the vandals on tape.

"It seems to be flat out anger here. It wasn't just steal the fruit or put it on the ground and smash it. This was to inflict injury, financial and maybe to drive him out of business," said Carroll Cox, a Mililani resident.

Punzal's farm has been broken into in the past. Tools and other gadgets were stolen before, but this is the first time his crops have been the target. Three years of work lost in an instant.

"To lose this much all at one time, it's hard. Now I have nothing to take to market. My markets that I have set up will have to go to somebody else."

Right now Punzal is focused on catching the culprit and has offered a $2,000 reward, but he is a farmer at heart and says he will plant again.

 "Having local product for our local markets, that's what's important. Then you have an idiot come through, you don't get many farmers that want to continue."

The owner of the farm is asking anyone who may have information about these vandals to please call Honolulu Police.

Copyright 2010 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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