Makiki residents frustrated after vehicles repeatedly damaged, destroyed by acid

Photo: Krys Romanczak

Who’s throwing acid on cars in Makiki?

It’s a question frustrated residents have been asking for years. Even after taking matters into their own hands, no one’s been caught.

All of the incidents occurred at an apartment building on Kewalo Street.

Residents have fallen victim to this six times, and while police are investigating, they haven’t nailed down a suspect.

“I was really angry, you know? I wanted to retaliate, but I knew that I couldn’t,” said Joy Rucker.

Krys Romanczak, who has been victimized himself three times since 2013, said the first attack happened when someone vandalized his Nissan Leaf.

He bought a Jeep to replace it, but the vandalism happened four more times in 2014 to him and three other car owners who lived in the same building.

Romanczak says the building installed security cameras after those incidents, and caught the most recent one in September 2015. Footage shows someone walking up to the Jeep and pouring something over it.

acid pour surveillance video

Insurance adjusters tell KHON2 that the acid used by the culprit could be a strong paint stripper or engine cleaner.

Romanczak said the six incidents in total cost roughly $95,000 in damages.

“It’s worn on me quite a bit, worn on my neighbors. Folks across the street are afraid it’ll happen to them,” he said. “My vehicle is seen every day, and when they see the damage, it creates a fear in our community.

“We have beefed up security — higher resolution cameras, community watch. We’re taking turns until this person is put to jail. Hopefully an arrest is made soon, so we can get to sleep,” he added.

HPD told KHON2 that the 2013 case is classified as miscellaneous and the others after that are being investigated as second-degree criminal property damage, a Class C felony that can carry jail time of up to five years and fines up to $10,000.

Police are urging anyone with information to call CrimeStoppers at 955-8300.

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