Arrest made in Kahuku goat theft

Honolulu police arrested a Waialua man for stealing more than 20 goats from a Kahuku farm. But owner Keal Pontin believes more people are involved.

Police arrested 25-year-old George Makaniole just before 2 p.m Tuesday for livestock theft.

Pontin calls it a small victory toward the ultimate goal, which is to arrest the others involved and get his goats back.

“They’ve split the herd up from what I’ve heard. They’ve separated them into a couple of groups, but we have no idea where right now. So the help from the community is what we need right now,” Pontin said.

Pontin said the community has stepped up with plenty of helpful information and that includes a photo that was sent to him of two of his pregnant goats tied up in a pickup truck on Farrington Highway with their mouths wrapped shut with duct tape.

“To see her tied up in the back of the truck like that sitting in the hot sun, it’s just sickening,” Pontin said.

The 23 goats were stolen from Pontin’s ranch sometime between Thursday night and Friday morning. Pontin said the thieves took the best of the herd and many of them were pregnant. The goats were tied up and their mouths covered with duct tape so they wouldn’t make noise.

Pontin says people in the community know who’s responsible because the thieves are not exactly discreet.

“They don’t work, they don’t do anything. It seems like they just steal for a living. They go and they brag about taking goats and this is what they do. They say we rope goats,  we duct tape them up, and we sell them,” Pontin said.

Now, there’s the rush to find the goats and the people hiding them. Pontin said they should be easy to spot because the goats are about 200 pounds and some are about ready to give birth.

Makaniole remains in custody and has not yet been charged.

Pontin is offering a reward to anyone who can help him recover his goats.

Kamaaina Termite and Pest Control is also offering $5,000.

Anyone with tips can contact Pontin at (808) 284-0356.

Anyone with information about the case is also urged to call police.

Related stories:

Hawaii Revised Statutes: §708-835.5 Theft of livestock. (1) A person commits the offense of theft of livestock if the person commits theft by:
(a) Having in the person’s possession a live animal of the bovine, equine, swine, sheep, or goat species, or its carcass or meat, while in or upon premises that the person knowingly entered or remained unlawfully in or upon, and that are fenced or enclosed in a manner designed to exclude intruders; or
(b) Having in the person’s possession a live animal, carcass, or meat in any other location.
(2) Possession of livestock without a livestock ownership and movement certificate, when a certificate is required pursuant to section 142-49, is prima facie evidence that the livestock is or has been stolen.
(3) Theft of livestock is a class C felony.
(4) A person convicted of committing the offense of theft of livestock shall be sentenced in accordance with chapter 706, except that for a first offense the court shall impose a minimum sentence of a fine of at least $1,000 or restitution, whichever is greater. [L 1990, c 28, §1; am L 2005, c 182, §4; am L 2006, c 230, §39]

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