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Reward of up to $30K offered in Puna papaya destruction cases

Papaya destruction in Kapoho in July 2011. Hawaii 24/7 File Photo

Papaya destruction in Kapoho in July 2011. Hawaii 24/7 File Photo


Big Island police are asking for the public’s assistance in helping farmers protect their crops.

On June 30, 2010, and again on July 19, 2011, many acres of papaya trees were cut down on Alohilani Road in the Kapoho area. Police have received a lot of information about these cases, but not enough that would lead to an arrest. In the meantime, police are trying to prevent any new incidence of agricultural vandalism.

Police ask that anyone who see suspicious or unusual activity in any of the farms call 911 immediately. Anyone who has information that they would like to share but that does not require immediate attention may call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Citizens may also call the Police Department’s Kuleana Hotline at 961-2219.

A reward of up to $30,000 is still being offered for information that leads to an arrest and conviction of the responsible persons. The reward is being jointly funded by the Hawaii Crop Improvement Association, the Hawaii Papaya Industry Association and the Hawaii County Office of the Mayor.

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