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MAYORWatch: Preying on Free Public Parking in Paia

Mayor Michael Victorino answers weekly questions submitted to his office staff.

Question: I work in Paia and see people who appear to be homeless directing traffic into and out of the free public parking lot next to the Shell gas station. I have seen a shirtless guy on a bike aggressively telling people where and how to park, and then accepting money from these people, who mostly appear to be tourists. I am guessing people only give them money because they are afraid to leave their vehicles unattended with these people around. What can be done to keep these people from preying on tourists and locals?

Answer: Mahalo for bringing this to my attention and I instructed my staff to follow up with the Maui Police Department.

When community members see something suspicious, including a person directing traffic into a public lot and asking for money, we strongly encourage them to call the non-emergency police phone number at (808) 244-6400 and ask to have an officer respond.

Concerned citizens can also contact the Community Relations Section at (808) 270-6535, and look into starting a Neighborhood Watch. If there is an ongoing issue with homelessness, they can contact the Maui Police Department Core team and resources can be offered.

Want to Ask the Mayor? Submit your Maui County related questions to Mayor Michael Victorino by email at [email protected], by phone at 270-7855 or by mail at 200 S. High St., ninth floor, Wailuku 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column; to request a personal response to a concern, email [email protected]

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