KALIHI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Kids in Kalihi will have to find a new place to swim. Copper thieves shut down the power to the pool at Kalihi Valley District Park. But what makes this heist even more interesting is it happened right next to the Kalihi Police station.
Kids could only watch from outside the fence wishing the Kalihi Valley District pool was open. Instead the hundreds of people that use the pool will have to wait. It is closed until further notice because of a huge copper heist.
City crews are already working on the repairs. Several hundred feet of copper cables were snipped then snaked by crooks that had to know what they were doing because of the clean cuts and heavy load. A thief would have needed a truck, tools and knowledge. They'd have to be a bit brash too because the only parking lot is the one shared with the Kalihi Police station meaning the culprit probably drove right by the police cars. There are surveillance cameras which could have caught the thief on camera.
"I don't know why they did that. They only get a little bit of money if they recycle those but we need it more than they do," said Sarayah Harrington, park user.
That's true. To recycle a thief gets about $2.50 a pound. But the copper brand new is $5 a foot and the city will need about 500 feet. Also the power to the pools pump was cut which means it can't be filtered which is why it's closed. The lights to the field and courts were also cut so no practice or games after dark.
"I think it's bad because kids like us need power and stuff to see," said Malila Vaiao, park user.
"It affects the whole community, the people that come and enjoy family and friends over here," said Richard Anderson, park user.
Thieves also hit the fields in Moiliili a few weeks ago taking copper and leaving that park in the dark as well.
It could be several weeks before the new copper comes in and the cables are repaired which means no swim lessons or other pool activities for awhile.