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Police Ask for Information on Nīnole Cemetery Vandals

by Thunda

Hawai‘i Island police are asking for the public’s assistance in seeking information or witnesses regarding a recent vandalism incident at a cemetery in Nīnole.

Sometime between Sunday, March 27, 2022, and Tuesday, March 29, 45 headstones were damaged at the Honohina Hongwanji Cemetery located about a half-mile from the temple on Old Māmalahoa Highway, (Highway 19), along the Hāmākua Coast. Volunteer caretakers discovered the damage when they arrived to do maintenance on Tuesday. Many of the headstones and monuments in the cemetery date back to the early 1900s from the sugar plantation era. 

Police ask anyone with any information about this incident to contact Officer Luke Watkins at the Laupahoehoe Police Station at (808) 962-2120, via email at, or by calling the police department’s non-emergency number at (808) 935-3311.

Citizens who wish to remain anonymous can provide information through Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers does not record any calls or subscribe to caller ID.

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