The Honolulu City Department of Emergency Management has asked for the public’s help in monitoring outdoor warning sirens for vandalism and reporting any suspicious activity.
Thieves have broken into the Haleiwa Beach Park siren and stolen batteries three times in the past several months. Other sirens have also been broken into and had batteries removed.
These thefts cost taxpayers between $400.00 and $600.00 per siren.
More importantly, the loss of batteries can make a siren inoperable during the next tsunami or other disaster, endangering local communities.
The announcement of the thefts comes months after Big Island Police arrested two Kona men for felony theft of copper.
Reports of civil infrastructure thefts have been increasing in recent years as the price of metals have gone up: theft of lead (used in batteries), brass and copper have all been increasing. Even the FBI has become interested, calling the rising metal thefts a national security issue that threatens US Critical infrastructure.
The public is asked to help prevent these thefts by becoming aware of nearby sirens and monitoring them for vandalism and/or suspicious activity.
Vandalism, damages, or missing sirens or components should be reported to the Department of Emergency Management at 723-8960.