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Company hopes to recoup costs to recover van in Ala Wai

By Rob Shikina

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 12:49 p.m. HST, May 15, 2014


The towing company that removed a stolen minivan that plunged into the Ala Wai Canal early Wednesday is trying to track down the owner to collect payment for removing the vehicle.

Brian Kunishige, owner of Kuni's Automotive & Towing in McCully, said the cost of the tow amounts to a little more than $400, which he will try to recover from the vehicle's owner or the insurance company if the vehicle is insured.

"Right now, we're going to have to track down the owner," he said by phone. "It's late model van, so it may be insured."

He said the tow driver was able to remove the Dodge Caravan after a state employee in a small boat in the canal attached a chain to the vehicle. The tow truck driver winched the van to the wall, reattached the chain and recovered the van at about 11 a.m.

He said the state employee was with the Department of Health investigating pollution from the crash.

The 29-year-old driver apparently lost control of the speeding vehicle, which hit a curb, went airborne, hit a coconut tree and plunged into the Ala Wai Canal about 3:45 a.m. Wednesday.

The driver was able to get out of the van on his own.

Officers arrested the driver about 4:15 a.m. for investigation of driving under the influence of an intoxicant, driving without a license, and auto theft. He was then taken to the hospital for treatment of his injuries.

The Dodge Caravan was towed back to his Kuni's Automotive in McCully.

Kunishige, of Kuni's Automotive, said the city pays a small portion -- about a fourth of the cost -- if the vehicle is unclaimed.

"At that point, it becomes a big loser because what I got to pay out to these guys to do the job is beyond what we collect," he said.






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sloturle wrote:
I thought the suspect had to pay
on May 15,2014 | 07:26AM
serious wrote:
I am a retired businessman--the first thing one does when you get a job, is who pays? If I were the tow truck owner, I'd just leave the van in the canal until the $$$ is settled.
on May 15,2014 | 10:10AM
sak wrote:
No can do, he has a contract to fulfill with the State, and it's all part of doing business.
on May 15,2014 | 02:27PM
SaySomethingNow wrote:
HPD contract is with the City, not State, and I thought All Island Towing got that award...?
on May 15,2014 | 03:45PM
Anonymous wrote:
OH poooooor thing!!!!
on May 15,2014 | 07:26AM
AhiPoke wrote:
Wow, the owner of the stolen van is in for a surprise. I hope the driver/thief spends a long time in prison but I think I'm asking for too much.
on May 15,2014 | 07:38AM
GONEGOLFIN wrote:
Owner: I woke up, my van was gone, found my van in the ala wai (totalled and soaked with the slime, mud, and a couple fish making a new home) and now I have to pay the tow bill? Where is the logic in that? Betcha his insurance premium will now go up too!
on May 15,2014 | 08:50AM
loquaciousone wrote:
The towing company that removed a stolen minivan that ended up in the Ala Wai Canal early Wednesday is trying to track down the owner to collect payment for removing the vehicle.

So the owner gets his car stolen and now the tow company wants to steal more money from him. Typical tow company mentality.
on May 15,2014 | 09:03AM
AhiPoke wrote:
I don't blame the tow company, somebody has to pay. The tow company was providing a service. Why should they be left holding the bag. IMO, it seems to me that since it was probably the police that called for help they should be responsible. It should then be the police that has to go after whomever for reimbursement. It seems to me that the government should not get away with no responsibility especially when they initiated the call for help.
on May 15,2014 | 10:37AM
loquaciousone wrote:
I blame the tow company for taking the easy way out. Obviously, the car owner is a responsible person and the thief is not. The culprit is the thief and he should be responsible for any charges incurred during his crime spree and not the owner of the stolen car.
on May 15,2014 | 11:13AM
PTF wrote:
I agree.
on May 15,2014 | 02:07PM
GooglyMoogly wrote:
The assumption is that the owner of a stolen vehicle wants it returned, regardless of its status. Even if the owner decided to junk it, someone would need to pay a tow company to pull it out of the canal. I'm guessing the insurance company is going to end up paying for it, declare the thing a total loss, and then cut the owner a check.
on May 15,2014 | 11:11AM
HanabataDays wrote:
Waitaminnit brah! The van was reported stolen? By whom, if not the owner? And they cannot even run the VIN? Not rocket science, guys.
on May 15,2014 | 09:08AM
kiragirl wrote:
Long ago, my car was broken into and seen the guys driving off. I reported to the police the type of car and color AND the last three digits of the license plate number. I was told by the detective that they couldn't track the car. Amazing in these days of computerization.
on May 15,2014 | 12:10PM
2NDC wrote:
Talk about adding insult to injury...... I figure that HPD would pay since I would imagine that it was a HPD initiated tow.
on May 15,2014 | 10:40AM
KaneoheSJ wrote:
The cost should be placed on the thief. No bail until he pays for the tow first. Seems to me like we let the criminals off too easy. Even when it comes to paying for the damages.
on May 15,2014 | 10:45AM
KaneoheSJ wrote:
We should seek the damages from the one who did all the damage, the perp. It seems that we allow them to skate by.
on May 15,2014 | 10:47AM
lowtone123 wrote:
The van was stolen. Get the money from the monkey that drove it into the canal.
on May 15,2014 | 11:58AM
hikine wrote:
I agree the perp should foot the bill but I betcha he doesn't have it as people who steals cars usually don't have money! The insurance company will have to total the car and pay out. If the owner has towing option in his policy it should cover the cost. The problem lies if the owner don't have insurance for the vehicle.
on May 15,2014 | 12:11PM
Jerry_D wrote:
So now this tow company is going to initiate collection action against the OWNER of this stolen vehicle!?! The tow company entered into an agreement with the CITY...just because the company was too shortsighted to put a clause into the agreement that covered flipping the bill for stolen vehicles, they're going to harass the VICTIM of this crime?!? Dick move.
on May 15,2014 | 12:25PM
beachbum11 wrote:
HPD should forward the information to the expensive tow guys. And let the owner know the car was recovered. If no insurance just let the van sit there. The owner is not responsible since he or she did not order the tow. The person who authorize the is the responsible party. Common sense.
on May 15,2014 | 05:08PM
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