Waimanalo gets rude awakening after thief trips warning siren

Waimanalo gets rude awakening after thief trips warning siren
Published: Nov. 16, 2015 at 8:55 PM HST|Updated: Nov. 16, 2015 at 9:13 PM HST
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WAIMANALO, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In Waimanalo, it was the talk of the town.

About 12:30 a.m. Monday, the emergency warning siren at Kaiona Beach Park went off, waking up the community and causing no small amount of concern.

Samantha Rasay shot out of bed when the siren went off and thought, "It's not the first of the month, so why are the sirens going off?"

Turns out, the sirens weren't warning people of a tsunami or hurricane, but a theft attempt.

After a number of vandalism and theft cases, the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, a state entity, rigged the sirens to go off if tampered with.

However, the sirens only make one sound -- the one that also warns residents to seek shelter.

On top of the siren fumble, the city's Emergency Management Department also failed to let the public know what was going on.

"We do apologize for not getting the public messaging out. We'll try to do a better job the next time around," said John Cummings, department spokesman.

Cummings said in the case of a real emergency, notices on TV, radio and social media would accompany the sirens with information and instructions.

New locks have been installed on the siren to prevent would-be thieves.

As for Rasay, she's learned a valuable lesson: Nothing is safe from thieves.

"I mean, you never would think someone would be tampering with a box or something like that," she said.

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