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Chun’s Reef is a popular spot to hit the surf and cool off. And as long as lifeguards are on duty, they’re keeping an eye out for emergencies.
But now, they’ll have to do patrol the beach by foot. That’s because someone stole their all-terrain vehicle (ATV) sometime overnight Sunday.
“It’s a broad beach, lots of surfers and lots for people to keep their eyes on. So, the last thing they need to do is worry about their equipment,” surfer Gavin Sutherland said.
The four-wheeler that was taken was brand new, purchased in June for $7,000. It was stored inside a large shipping container when it wasn’t in use.
It was no quick grab-and-go theft. Whoever broke in had to get past not one, not two, but three locks to get the ATV inside.
The thief also grabbed a surfboard and binoculars donated by the North Shore Lifeguard Association.
“So, these people aren’t only stealing from people enjoying the beach, but all the taxpayers,” Honolulu Emergency Services Department spokesperson Shayne Enright said.
And without an ATV, reaching someone in distress could use up valuable time.
“This is a piece of equipment that is life-saving. Our lifeguards use it to respond to emergencies rapidly and the fact that someone would take it is very low and it’s jeopardizing public safety,” Enright said.
It’s the third lifeguard ATV to be stolen in the state. In January, a four-wheeler was taken from Kealia Beach on Kauai. And five-and-a-half years ago, Sunset Beach also had an ATV ripped off.
KHON2 asked if there are any plans to add more security or more locks.
“Something we can think about. We will go back and look at it, but these were heavy-duty locks, so someone knew what they were doing,” Enright said.
Lifeguards are bringing out a back-up ATV to assist at Chun’s Reef, but there are no more spares.
Anyone with information about this theft is asked to call police.
Related story: Public’s help needed to find stolen ATV