Two Arrests Made in Connection with Kīhei Auto Theft Investigation

Maui police made two arrests yesterday in connection with a report of auto thefts in which four vehicles were stolen from the Kīhei Auto Sales lot in South Maui on Sunday. 

Patrol officers conducting beat checks at McGregor Point observed a white Nissan parked at the location at around 1 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. 

Police say officers verified that the VIN number belonged to one of the vehicles that were stolen over the weekend, and license plates on the car were fraudulent.

Police recovered an “unmarked silver revolver-type handgun” from the driver’s floor board, and 2.5 grams of methamphetamine from within the vehicle, as well as 14.5 grams of marijuana, according to Acting Police Chief Dean Rickard, who spoke at Wednesday’s Police Commission meeting.  

A man and woman within the vehicle were detained, and were placed under arrest for being in possession of a stolen vehicle, as well as other firearms and drug related offenses. The cases have been forwarded for further investigation by the Kīhei Criminal Investigation Division. 

Rickard said the case is an example of patrol officers, despite being short staffed, still being able to take care of their beat and proactively patrol their areas of responsibility.

“I just want to recognize the exceptional efforts being put forth by our officers, especially those within the patrol ranks and being as shorthanded as they currently are, but still grinding it out and conducting solid investigations,” said Rickard. “This really hasn’t deterred our officers from stepping up proactive enforcement efforts in working collaboratively with other divisions, sections and outside law enforcement agencies to address drugs and other firearms related crimes.”

Eight of 11 graduates of the most recent recruit class have since completed field training and are now operating solo as beat officers within their respective patrol districts.

The other three recruits are at various stages of progress. “We’re confident that they will be joining their classmates in filling the vacancies in patrol, at least by the beginning of January… It will bring some very welcome relief to those patrol districts,” said Rickard.

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