State Highway Officials Unravel Mystery Behind Copper Wire Stash - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

State Highway Officials Unravel Mystery Behind Copper Wire Stash

By Beth Hillyer

(KHNL) - Much of the copper wiring found under the H-1 viaduct was used to power freeway lights around Oahu.

State Highway officials confirm the copper wire found stripped belongs to lights from Kalihi to Mililani even Makakilo.

The good thing about this wire is that colors and codes are used to identify it. Highway official Glenn Hamamura confirms what is theirs, "I found a few that did match up so I know where it came from. The majority is from Keehi Lagoon area, the homeless guy was hitting this area."

Just this weekend thieves hit this stretch of the H-1 freeway between Kunia and Makakilo. The wire is valued at more than 100-thousand dollars and if you laid it all out, it would stretch for more than 6 miles.

Hamamura adds, "It's very frustrating, you put in the wire when it is missing and the next day it is stolen within one day. We just kinda gave up. Don't put nothing back until we figure out how we can stop this first."

The suspects arrested under the overpass face drug charges. It's hard to arrest them for stealing the wire even though they were caught stripping it.

Honolulu Police Major Kurt Kendro explains, "As I understand it they were all arrested for crystal methamphetamine and paraphernalia, pipes so under the state law it is a class C felony." Steffani Ross, Benjamin Demello and Ernesto Lamarca could face up to five years in prison.

But Hamamura says this bust is just a start, "I'm glad you got some guys arrested but I don't think you found all the rings."

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