Maui mourns beloved mother, dedicated MPD secretary killed in pursuit of thief

Maui police are still searching for the suspect in a purse-snatching that ended in a fatal car crash in on Thursday.
Published: Feb. 25, 2022 at 7:49 PM HST|Updated: Feb. 25, 2022 at 7:55 PM HST
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PUKALANI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Maui police are still searching for the suspect in a purse-snatching that ended in a fatal car crash on Thursday.

A makeshift memorial was growing Friday near the intersection of Haleakala and Kula Highways for Terry Jones, who was killed in the crash while pursuing the thief.

Jones was a beloved mother, grandmother, sister and friend. Those who knew the longtime Maui Police Department secretary said she was a dedicated employee, always helping others, even until the last moments of her life.

“I don’t know if there are words for how we’re feeling. It is horrible,” said Jones’ daughter Stacy Yagi.

Jones’ son Calin Yagi said their lives will never be the same. “Feels like a dream, or a nightmare,” he said.

She worked for the Maui Police Department for 32 years.

Jones was helping her daughter Stacy deliver newspapers in the Upcountry area Thursday at around 4:30 a.m. when someone stole her purse. Police say Jones drove after them, but she lost control and crashed into a tree. She died at the scene.

The purse snatcher is still on the run.

“I would encourage you to turn yourself in,” MPD Chief John Pelletier said.

Pelletier said Jones was the matriarch of the Maui Police Department family and always organizing fundraisers. Most recently, she organized a bake sale for MPD recruit Alexa Jacobs who just recovered from a coma.

“She’ll be missed by all of us,” said former MPD Chief Tom Phillips. “The whole community is going to miss her. She did a lot for this community, for the department, and of course for her family.”

A fundraiser for Jones’ family has already collected nearly $40,000.

In addition to her children, Jones leaves behind two grandchildren, three brothers and two sisters.

“We love you, Terry. We didn’t tell her enough,” Jones’ sister-in-law Bernadette Lentini-Jones said.

“She’s going to be missed,” said Jones’ brother Paul.

Anyone with information about the purse snatcher is asked to call MPD at (808) 244-6400.

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