Nanakuli family grieving loss of father targeted by thieves

Moani Nahulu-Mahelona and John Mahelona (family photo)
Moani Nahulu-Mahelona and John Mahelona (family photo)

In August, John Mahelona died after suffering a heart attack while in the stands during a high school football game. He was watching his son, a Kapolei High defensive lineman, play against Kahuku.

Nearly three months later, his still-grieving family is facing yet another hardship after thieves made off with precious items he left behind.

“You took away what I had left of my husband. You took away from my sons. That’s why I’m crying. They already gotta deal with not having their father, but you took everything that was left of him,” said his wife, Moani Nahulu-Mahelona.

After the break-in (Photo: Moani Nahulu-Mahelona)
After the break-in (Photo: Moani Nahulu-Mahelona)

On Wednesday, the family’s youngest son returned from school, only to find their home in shambles.

“Went into my son’s room. That’s where it looks like they entered in. They took out all of their jealousies, entered through there, ransacked their room,” Nahulu-Mahelona said.

The suspects also swiped a safe containing money collected from her husband’s funeral. They also took jewelry that’s dear to her heart.

“Our wedding bands. Just jewelry throughout the years my husband had bought for me. Our anniversary diamond rings and Tahitian pearls,” Nahulu-Mahelona said.

Nahulu-Mahelona and her husband were high school sweethearts at Nanakuli High School and have three sons. They’ve lived in their home for more than 30 years and were never hit by thieves.

“I can’t understand who would do something like this to us or to anybody. I feel violated. My sons, my husband was our security blanket, so he was our protector and now trying to figure out, how do we protect our home?” Nahulu-Mahelona said.

If anything can be recovered, Moani hopes it will be the wedding bands. “Just things that he worked so hard in his life and to get and to provide. To provide just those special gifts. That’s it. It’s irreplaceable,” Nahulu-Mahelona said.

Honolulu police have opened a first-degree burglary case. Anyone with information is asked to call police.

mahelona rings

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