DOT Says Copper Wires Found Probably Theirs

Scott Ishikawa
Scott Ishikawa
Glenn Hamamura
Glenn Hamamura

HONOLULU (KHNL) -Investigators believe they finally have the answer after sections of several Oahu roadways have been in the dark.

The insulation that covered the wiring used to power those lights, was found among piles recovered under the H-1 viaduct Thursday.

That's what officials from the state Department of Transportation believe after examining the insulation.

"I saw some insulation that looks similar, but we're not 100 percent sure," said Glenn Hamamura, a foreman with the DOT's highway lighting division.

The pile looks like a big pile of spaghetti, but crews know exactly which wires are theirs.

"I know by the color, by the insulation type, that certain wires belong at certain locations," said Hamamura.

After comparing the insulation recovered from under the viaduct with the samples, crews are pretty sure these were taken from lights from Keehi Lagoon, Pali Highway, and the H-1 between Kunia and Makakilo.

"Very frustrating," said Hamamura. "We'd have to put in wire when it's missing, and the very next day, it would be stolen."

"Six lights went out, we checked and the copper wire was out so we replaced it," said DOT spokesman Scott Ishikawa. "Next day, the wire was gone. So our guys kinda suspected someone was watching the repair crews put in a new wire at the time."

Police caught two people, along with another man, with the wire insulation, but they were arrested on drug charges.

"I'm glad that some guys got arrested, but I don't think you got all the rings," said Hamamura.

He says the ways the wires were cut differently, showing it was probably cut by different groups of people.

"This isn't over by a long shot," said Ishikawa.

"We're gonna ask the public to continue to be vigilant and call 911, if they see something suspicious, and we'll just keep tracking these guys down as best as we can."

The three arrested remain in police custody.

Officials also stress that stealing wire is dangerous, because you could be electrocuted. One man died while trying to steal wire Tuesday night.

That's what led police to the huge pile of stripped wire underneath the viaduct.