Blasting caps lead to evacuation in Kihei

Several nearby buildings were evacuated Sunday night after blasting caps were seen in a backpack left in a stolen rental car located near the Villas at Kenolio in Kihei, police said.

The area remained cordoned off until about 2 p.m. Monday afternoon, when an Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit arrived to recover the ordnance, police said.

The American Red Cross assisted 17 residents of the Villas at Kenolio complex on Halili Lane who were evacuated, said spokeswoman Maria Lutz. She said that an emergency shelter was set up at the Kihei Community Center.

The rental car, a 2012 black Ford Fusion, was stolen at about noon Sunday from the gravel parking lot at Ahihi Bay in the Makena area while its occupants were at the beach, according to police.

At about 10:30 p.m., an occupant contacted police while tracking her phone that had been left in the stolen vehicle. About 15 minutes later, a state Department of Land and Natural Resources officer located the vehicle near the Makena Beach & Golf Resort. Police detained a woman who got out of the car before it sped off toward Kihei.

The phone was still being tracked when the stolen car was located at the Villas at Kenolio, police said. A man who was a passenger in the car was seen walking away from the vehicle and was arrested, police said.

Police were looking for the driver, who fled.

While processing the car, police saw a black backpack inside. What appeared to be blasting caps were seen in the backpack, police said.

The man and woman who were arrested were released pending further investigation.

The FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms also assisted in the investigation.