By Brooks Baehr - bio | email
HAWAII KAI (HawaiiNewsNow) - They are probably not wearing patches or carrying parrots, but pirates have been stealing canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards from backyard docks in Hawaii Kai. They hit townhouses and homes along marina in Hawaii Kai at least three times this week.
"I look over the edge of the lanai, and there's no canoe," said Rick Fitch peering over the railing on the deck of his girlfriend's townhouse. Her one-person outrigger, valued at more than $4,000, was swiped sometime between 2 am and 3 am Thursday morning.
"All of the houses are built right on the water, one side or the other of the canal or the bays, but there's easy access out into the ocean. There's a boat channel less than a mile up the road. There's a channel right behind us that goes right out into the ocean, so it's easy to slip in, slip out," Fitch explained.
"We know a paddle board or kayak was stolen from Kalele Kai, so we're seeing a pattern," said Beverly Liddle, manager of the Hawaii Kai Marina Community Association. "It is all happening in the evening. And we've put out notices to all the various associations," she said.
The community association has a security force patrolling the 13 miles of waterway at the marina, but its officers cannot be everywhere all the time, so Liddle is sending emails and making phone calls asking residents to be on alert.
"We've let everybody that we know what's going on and asked if they could lock up their property better," Liddle told Hawaii News Now.
Collin Lambert is not taking any more chances. His one-man canoe was stolen a few nights ago from the dock behind a townhouse at The Moorings where he lives with his parents. Fortunately the thieves abandoned the canoe on a beach nearby. Collin retrieved his canoe and now locks it to the pier.
Fitch is hoping his girlfriend's canoe is also recovered.
"Beautiful boat," he said. "It is affectionately called the Cream Sickle. It's white with kind of bright orange on the hull. She loved it. She was happy," Fitch added.
Some of the missing vessels have distinctive looks. The people who have had them stolen are hoping that someone in the paddling community will recognize them, alert authorities, and the culprits will be caught.