HONOLULU (KHON2) — A senseless crime at the University Laboratory School left three school buses damaged. Officials said the school has been targeted by thieves lately and there seems to be no end in sight.
School officials point out that it is an open campus so it’s impossible to keep anyone out, especially overnight.
Officials said thieves damaged three school buses overnight. The worst of it was the van, which had the back window smashed and the ignition pried open.
“It kind of looks like they shoved a screwdriver or something in and was trying to get the van started so they basically broke the whole ignition,” said Walt Quitan, ULS athletic director.
Quitan said the other two buses also had their doors and ignition damaged but at least they’re driveable, unlike the van. Thieves tried to siphon gas from the tanks. He said thieves also stole the catalytic converters from all three vehicles last year, and there were other break-ins in recent months.
“We’ve had a lot of theft on campus from our locker rooms to our band room to some of the classrooms and things like that. It’s very frustrating, very frustrating to have to constantly deal with this,” said Quitan.
He can’t understand why anyone would try to take a school bus in the first place. Whoever tried didn’t get anything of value. But now the charter school is stuck with thousands of dollars in damage.
“Right now it’s just more of an inconvenience than anything else and obviously the cost. I mean we’re a public school, it’s just tough and you always have to deal with these kinds of things,” said Quitan.
ULS sits next to the University of Hawaii at Manoa campus which has had its share of catalytic converter and vehicle thefts. Last month thieves stole a UH van and apparently took it for a joy ride. They wound up wrecking it and then painted the white van green.
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Quitan said UH Manoa Public Safety guards patrol the ULS campus but they have to cover a large area that includes the university.