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Letter Goes Home to Kīhei Parents Amid Attempted Kidnapping Report

Wendy Osher · December 15, 2017, 7:43 AM HST (Updated December 15, 2017, 7:50 AM) · 27 Comments
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Letter: Maui Now image. PC: school photo courtesy Google maps.

Parents of students at Kīhei Elementary were notified of an apparent attempted kidnapping reported to school administrators on Wednesday afternoon.

Maui Now obtained a copy of an email sent to parents this week, in which school principal Halle Maxwell states that a student was approached at the pickup area by Līloa Street at approximately 1:25 p.m. on Dec. 13, 2017 by a male described to be in his 40s, with short, dark (black) hair and dyed ends, wearing an orange shirt, jeans and sunglasses.

Police say the male walked up to the fence and told the student he was there to pick the student up because the mom was sick.

School administrators say the student refused to go, and the male left in a red sedan that reportedly had damage to the front headlight and taillight.  Maui police say the student ran back into the school and told an adult.

The Maui Police Department was notified and anyone with information is asked to contact them (808)244-6400 or 9-1-1 if it is an emergency.

Halle wrote, “The safety of your children is of utmost importance to us. We are sending home a letter tomorrow (Thursday) with all of this information to you as a precaution and to encourage you to continue to speak to your child regarding measures to stay safe, specifically about ‘stranger danger.'”

The email communication stated that there would be more information about key safety measures listed in the letter that was sent home with parents.

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Thursday’s letter included the following safety tips:

  • Stay away from strangers.  Do not talk or take anything from them.
  • Don’t go anywhere with someone you don’t know.  Never accept a ride from a stranger.
  • Stay more than an arm’s reach from strangers.  If a stranger approaches you, seek help immediately from a trusted adult.
  • Use the buddy system.  Avoid walking anywhere alone.
  • If a stranger grabs you, do whatever it takes to stop the stranger and yell for help.  
  • Report any suspicious activity to a trusted adult.
  • Be alert of your surroundings and let others know where you will be and what time you will be back.

The incident comes a week after Maui police issued a list of “Stranger Danger” safety tips for parents and children to consider after police responded to an attempted kidnapping incident involving two intermediate school students earlier this year.

According to earlier reports, two Lokelani Intermediate School students were walking to a bus stop in  Kīhei on Sept. 19, 2017, when they were approached by two adult males who tried to get the students to go with them in a vehicle. The male individuals in that incident were eventually caught and arrested.

Wendy Osher
Wendy Osher leads the Maui Now news team. She is also the news voice of parent company, Pacific Media Group, having served more than 15 years as News Director for the company’s six Maui radio stations.

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