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Vandal ‘keys’ costly cars at Kakaako dealership

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A Maserati, a Bentley and a Porsche were among the six vehicles “keyed” Tuesday morning at a luxury car dealership in Honolulu.

The incident marked the second time in two months that a vandal caught on surveillance video used an object that appeared to be a key to gouge high-end makes and models, both new and used, at JN Exotics, causing an estimated $100,000 or more in damage to a dozen cars.

“We just wanted to get the word out to individuals because he may be hitting individual cars or other dealerships, especially in the Kakaako area,” said David Higashiyama, at director of customer engagement at JN Automotive Group.

Higashiyama said the perpetrator is “probably the same person” in both cases.

The expensive cars are parked in a lot near the dealership’s showroom, 720 Kapiolani Blvd. Some of the vehicles are brought inside after closing, while others remain outside.

Company personnel reported both incidents to police, Higashiyama said, noting that the first set of cars was damaged on Oct. 15.

The repair costs are high due to the high quality paint used and the body work required to repair deep gouges. 

“The keying went into the metal,” Higashiyama said. “It’s not just buffing and a light coat of paint. Some are gouges in the paint. That requires body work.”

The damaged cars had price tags of up to $180,000.

In the video recording of the Tuesday incident, the suspect’s face is not identifiable. The suspect appears to be a man, but could be a woman or a man in disguise, wearing a red shirt with something underneath to look bulky, he said.

The individual is also wearing a cap and a sweater around his or her waist.

He or she is caught on video walking between the cars with his or her forearm parallel to the ground, holding out a key or similar object and dragging it across the cars.

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