HILO, Hawaii — Hawaii officials are scrambling to shore up security after a second theft of a public transit bus within a week.

Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim said Tuesday he met with the County of Hawaii Mass Transit Agency to discuss security for the bus yard.

Police said it appears the suspect, the same in both bus thefts, cut the lock to the gate of the yard, which is as low as 4 feet (1.22 meters) in some spots.

“The buses made headlines because of such an unusual, ridiculous thing . where the same guy steals a bus twice, just for joyrides,” Kim said. “And, yes, we have to look at that and negate anything we can to stop further occurrences, because this is going to cost us money, because he did damage the bus.”

Transit officials estimated damage to the stolen bus and two other buses damaged in the process at between $10,000 and $12,000, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported (http://bit.ly/2xPk0uA).

Kawelo Nakamura of Hilo was charged Tuesday with first-degree theft, resisting an order to stop, reckless endangering, reckless driving, driving without a commercial driver’s license, driving a stolen vehicle, property damage and two counts of inattention to driving, police said. Nakamura, who is being represented by the Hilo Public Defender’s Office, is scheduled to appear in court Jan. 8. His bail is set at $60,000.

He’s presumed innocent unless proven guilty, and he has a right to a jury trial,” said his attorney, Zachary Wingert.


This story has been corrected to show that Kim is mayor of Hawaii County, not Hilo