EXCLUSIVE: Rise in Vandalism Reported at Maui High School
Over the past two weeks, a rash of vandalism incidents have been reported at Maui High School, prompting school administrators to heighten security and go public with the reports in the hopes of curbing the crime and getting help from the community in reporting suspicious activity.
Maui High School Principal Jamie Yap said crime on campus “has been like an explosion” in recent weeks, with thousands of dollars in damage reported and additional funds being invested in security and monitoring systems to combat the crime.
“It’s not just a matter of recovering what was lost, but making an investment to be proactive. Our campus is so wide open and accessible to almost anyone in the neighborhood, that we all have to be good neighbors and help each other out. That’s what I’m hoping,” said Yap.
Yap said he noticed a increase in incidents since school let out at the end of May, and a spike in vandalism within the last two weeks.
Just Monday night July 3, vehicles used for driver’s education courses were vandalized. A total of three vehicles were damaged in the incident. Yap said one of the cars had the driver’s side front window smashed in and keyed . Another had two flat tires, and a third vehicle had the gas cover torn off. The damages were discovered the following morning on Tuesday, July 4, 2017.
On Sunday June 25, there was a break-in reported at the school cafeteria where two fire extinguishers were emptied in the cafe, more than a dozen eggs were thrown inside and outside of the cafe and in portable classrooms, spotlights were broken, and several tree branches were broken as well.
The school also reported several attempts of theft and vandalism of tool boxes and containers in an area of campus where construction is taking place. The latest incident was reported on Monday, July 3.
On Monday, June 26 and Wednesday, June 28 school administrators reported break-ins in the agricultural area where a chain link fence was cut, water was left running and gates were left open.
School administrators say that in addition to the vandalism, there are other incidents that go unreported, like showering and use of water on campus by vagrant individuals that are suspected of using the area for shelter.
Maui High School has been in contact with the Maui Police Department to report the incidents and to step up increased patrols of the Kahului campus. By last week Friday, eight new cameras were installed on campus to help with night vision to enhance monitoring capabilities during the evening hours.
“We’re hoping the community will support us by keeping an extra eye open and get the word out that this has to stop,” said Yap.
The school has a Text-A-Tip number for the public to contact to report suspicious activity. The number is (701) 484-2647, or call the Maui Crime Stoppers number at (808) 242-6966. Those who utilize either service can do so anonymously with the information forwarded to school administrators and the School Resource Officer.
“Our campus is a community walking site. Members of the community walk in late in evening and early morning hours. Maybe those individuals may see something that doesn’t look right and can report it. We’re hoping someone will speak out,” Yap said.
“We would also like to thank our community for their support, together maybe we can make a positive change,” Yap said.
*Maui Now also sought comment from administrators at Kahului School, where we were told criminal activity was also reported. We will amend this post when additional information is submitted. Please check back for updates.