PEARL CITY (KHNL) - A sharp-eyed witness helps Honolulu police catch a pair of suspected copper thieves.
Once the sun sets, drivers in the south-bound lanes of the H-2 between Ka Uka Boulevard and the Waianae cut-off will be in the dark. The state says 10 light poles are out of service because thieves ripped out 750 feet of copper wiring.
Appearing disheveled and sharing handcuffs, two suspected copper thieves emerge from the Pearl City Police Station. They're accused of damaging lighting fixtures along the H-2 Freeway over the weekend, in their quest for copper.
"It's concerning because it's not just the theft of copper wire, but it can be a safety hazard because of the lights being out on the freeway," Maj. Debora Tandal, Honolulu Police Department, said.
Although the suspects initially got away, investigators say they had a sharp-eyed witness in their corner. Using the witness' information, officers converged on a house on Waimano Home Road at about 9 a.m.
"It's great," Tandal said. "The witness got a license plate number. So we were able to follow up, where the registered owner of the car, who was driving the car, recovered some wire."
Forty-three-year-old Daniel Seyler and 42-year-old Robert Bryan face misdemeanor theft charges. State lawmakers are considering a bill that would make stealing copper a felony.
"We need to be able to do something more than just a misdemeanor charge," Tandal said.
For now, you can help police curb copper thefts by keeping your eyes peeled.
"People that call in help us greatly, helps us solve the crimes because we can't be everywhere all the time," Tandal said.