Forget cars. People are abandoning large trucks in one Oahu community

Leeward neighborhood sees increase in abandoned vehicles
Published: Dec. 29, 2017 at 10:54 PM HST|Updated: Dec. 30, 2017 at 12:06 AM HST
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(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

WAIANAE, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Leeward Oahu community is begging the city for help cracking down on illegal dumping.

Lewis Jasson, who lives on Hakimo Road, says an abandoned shipping container and a pickup truck with its windows smashed out have been sitting in his neighborhood for the past five months.

On Wednesday night, his neighbor snapped photos of what appeared to be people dumping a box truck, left right in front of Jasson's home.

"You can see where the guy dragged his trailer out of here," Jasson said, motioning to tire marks that were left in the dirt.

Two weeks ago, fearing more illegal dumping, Jasson called police when he saw a semi trailer towing an abandoned truck show up on his street. Officers arrived and the trucks eventually left,  but Jasson says it's not always that easy.

"They have been tagged by HPD and they are still sitting here," Jasson said. "Every time I call, I get the same response, that they know it's been tagged."

Area lawmakers are aware the complaints have gone nowhere.

"This is taking it to the next level with containers," said Sen. Maile Shimabukuro, whose district includes Waianae. "It just seems like it's getting worse and worse. It's such a huge source of frustration."

Residents say the abandoned vehicles aren't just an eyesore but also a sanitation problem. Rust is visible everywhere, and vegetation is now growing on the vehicles. Jasson says squatters have been moving in.

"It's open in the back, and we've seen people coming in and out of there, especially in the early morning," he said.

Neighbors are tired of asking why the abandoned vehicles sit around so long.

In the past, the city has said part of the problem is the lack of room in tow yards to store vehicles. Shimabukuro says it may be time officials consider new contracts with new junk yards.

"Definitely as we go into this next legislative session, that's some place where we need to target our financial resources," Shimabukuro said. "All of government needs to do something to address this because the problem is getting so bad. We should also, as a state, see what we can do."

The city says it's looking into the problem on Hakimo Road and will respond next week, after the New Year's holiday.

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