Vandalism, Theft Plague Ewa Sugar Mill Restoration - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Vandalism, Theft Plague Ewa Sugar Mill Restoration

Jeffery Durham Jeffery Durham
John Chung John Chung

By Mary Simms

EWA (KHNL) - This looks like the ghetto, but it's not. 

The other side of this wall is home to the West Oahu Little League Team. Right across the road are nice homes.  But this lot has become a criminal's playground.

"This has been ongoing from the day we started, close to a year ago, said Jeffery Durham. It affects our workers, it affects our subcontractor, but it also affects the community.

Anything copper is stolen.  Even the underground piping.   Three pipes are the only copper left, and the contractor has poured cement so it stays that way.

The contractor has painted this building three times, only to have vandals re-paint it the next day.

Thieves have stolen everything of any value.  They've even gone to extreme measures, stealing something you might not expect -- the power lines.

"I guess when it comes to feeding your habit; you're willing to take a lot of risks such as climb the utility poles to cut wires down, said Durham."

Hiring security for an active construction zone is a standard practice for most developers on Oahu. 

"When we bid the project, we did not anticipate needing 24-hour security."

The project was supposed to be done in six months.  So far, that time has doubled, and costs continue to rise. 

 "In terms of security, we can put a security guard on the job, but I don't know how effective that would be," said John Chung of CC Construction and Engineering.

Damages to the equipment and site cut the developers profit, but the costs of the power and water lines are passed on to taxpayers. 

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