In Kahaluu, dumped cars beget dumped cars (and the occasional Jet Ski)

In Kahaluu, dumped cars beget dumped cars (and the occasional Jet Ski)

KAHALUU, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - For months, Sharon Colbert has been complaining to the city about the gutted, abandoned vehicles in her Kahaluu neighborhood.

"When it's completely stripped like this, people set them on fire," she said.

The first car on Ahaolelo Road, which is just off Kahekili Highway, showed up nearly a year ago, she says.

And that first car attracted more junk, more abandoned cars, even an abandoned Jet Ski – and many of the objects have been set on fire once dumped.

"I'm just really frustrated. I'm tired of getting the runaround. I'm tired of being asked to be patient," said Colbert.

Randy Leong, the city's deputy director for the Department of Customer Services, said authorities are trying to keep up with the mess.

"We did pick up the vehicles over the weekend, so we sincerely apologize for that delay," he said.

Leong, who oversees the abandoned vehicle program, says the cars on Ahaolelo Road were a health and safety risk and were towed this past weekend after Hawaii News Now made inquiries. 

Leong says the city is working to resolve issues with its towing contractor, including long wait times and lack of storage space.

"From the time the inspector puts in the report for tow, the contractor has 72 hours to pick up the vehicle. That is what's mandated in the contract," said Leong.

The Jet Ski and some other heavy equipment is still at the site, and Leong says the city is trying to pinpoint which department is the best to handle that.

Colbert says she was so frustrated she was thinking of towing the junk herself.

But unless the vehicle is left on private property, the city says residents shouldn't tow vehicles themselves.

If you'd like to junk a car, you can sign up for free towing at satellite city halls.

To report an abandoned vehicle, make sure you have the location, make and model of the car. Call (808) 768-2530 or click here.

This story may be updated.

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