Kauai police officers and detectives have been busy this holiday season following a spike in home and car break-ins being reported across the island.
KPD reports that five adults and one juvenile have recently been apprehended for multiple thefts and car break-ins that occurred at various locations on Thanksgiving Day.
Wendell Kaneakua, 20, and Justin Doudt, 38, both of Kapaa, were arrested on the evening of November 27, after witnesses reported that the men had stolen personal items from a visitor while he was swimming at Kealia Beach. Roughly 45 minutes after the incident was reported, both suspects were located in a pickup truck at Wailua River State Park, with the stolen property still inside the vehicle.
A separate incident occurred at Kahili Beach that afternoon, when a male visitor reported that several of his items, including electronics, were stolen from his rental car. On November 29, following a police investigation, 24-year-old Jason Burrell was arrested at his parents’ home in Kapaa for his involvement. Burrell was reportedly working with a second suspect, Austin Ferris.
Ferris, 27, was located and arrested on December 5, and is believed to be connected to at least three other car break-ins that occurred at various locations on Thanksgiving Day. Ferris is currently being held at the Kauai Community Correctional Center.
A 16-year-old male was also detained after he was linked to two residential burglaries that occurred in the Hanalei area on Thanksgiving. The suspect was apprehended at his Kilauea home the following day and police recovered all of the stolen items. He relayed to officers that he had broken into at least eight other homes in the Hanalei area that day, but found no items of value to steal.
Police also arrested Jacob Mathews on December 2. Mathews, 28, of Kapaa, is suspected of stealing jewelry from a home on Alohi Place in Līhue back in September. In addition to the theft charge, Mathews is also facing multiple drug charges, after police recovered methamphetamine from the vehicle he was in at the time of his arrest.
KPD is now working with the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney in their ongoing investigation of these crimes.
Since the start of this year, KPD has arrested 230 individuals for theft, 21 people for burglary and 34 people for Unauthorized Entry into a Motor Vehicle (UEMV), resulting in a total of 436 charges.
Anyone with information on a recent home or car theft is urged to contact police at 241-1711.