Man at center of Wailuku standoff charged with vehicle theft

The Maui News

A fugitive who surrendered to end a standoff Wednesday at an affordable rental complex in Wailuku was charged with operating a stolen vehicle that was found in the area.

Bail was set at $1,000 for Keoni Kuhaulua, 38, who gave no local address, on the charge of unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle. He also was arrested on a $2,000 warrant for failure to appear, according to police records.

In two other cases, his bail totaling $2,000 was surrendered.

Other charges were pending Thursday against Kuhaulua, according to police records.

The standoff unfolded after police received information that Kuhaulua was operating a stolen vehicle near Hale Makana O Wai’ale at about 11:45 a.m. Wednesday. Police found the vehicle and learned Kuhaulua was in a unit in the housing complex.

The tenants of three buildings were evacuated before Kuhaulua surrendered at about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday when police Special Response Team members approached the unit, police said.

The stolen car that Kuhaulua was reported to be driving was a 2019 silver Nissan Versa that was reported stolen after being last seen at 6 a.m. Tuesday at the Budget Rent A Car baseyard on Mokuea Place in Kahului, according to police.

Kiana Sniffen Keaweehu, 23, who was arrested in connection with the standoff, was being investigated for hindering prosecution, according to police records.

In an unrelated case, she was charged with unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle for allegedly stealing a Toyota Camry parked at Maui Mall the night of July 10. Her bail was set at $5,000 in that case.

Before Kuhaulua surrendered, police arrested Isaiah Kanoa, 26, of Wailuku on eight contempt-of-court warrants totaling $2,000.