Kauai police investigate lifeguard tower break-ins

LIHUE, KAUAI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Police have recovered an All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) that was reported stolen Sunday by the Ocean Safety Bureau following a break-in at the Kealia Beach tower.

The red Honda ATV was stolen from a storage room near the tower, sometime between 5 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. on Sunday. It was recovered Monday in Anahola near the Flat Track dirt bike trail. Aside from some cosmetic damage, the ATV was in good condition.

No arrests have yet been made as police continue to investigate the incident.

This is the fourth break-in at a county lifeguard tower in the past three weeks, and the second theft reported at the Kealia tower.

Swim fins and other miscellaneous items were stolen from the same tower last week Tuesday.

The rash of break-ins started at the Lydgate tower on December 27. No items were stolen but the suspect(s) vandalized the tower and littered it with rubbish.

The Anahola Beach lifeguard tower was then broken into sometime between Wednesday, Jan. 2 and Thursday, Jan. 3. The unknown suspect(s) stole a Motorola XTS 5000R portable radio and a pair of binoculars, brand unknown. The total estimated value of the stolen equipment is over $5,000.

While it is unknown at this time if the incidents are related, the number of break-ins and lack of equipment has left lifeguards extremely frustrated.

"The stolen equipment – even swim fins, which have little monetary value – is an important tool for our lifeguards to help save lives, and incidents like these distract us from that mission," stated Kaua'i Fire Chief Robert Westerman. "We appreciate the police department's help in investigating these thefts and urge the public to provide KPD with any information that might help them in locating the suspects."

Anyone with information on any of the tower break-ins is urged to call Police Dispatch at 241-1711 or CrimeStoppers, 241-1887.

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