Skateboard rider sought in connection with dumpster fire

Arson captured on security video

Footage from a video surveillance camera shows someone unlocking a dumpster Sunday night behind Ace Printing in Wailuku. The person set the dumpster on fire. Ace Printing photos

Lloyd Komoda, co-owner of Ace Printing Co. in Wailuku, wants to thank two individuals who pushed a burning dumpster away from his business Sunday night after someone on a skateboard apparently set fire to it at the business.

“Those two basically really saved the building from catching on fire,” said Komoda, who saw the events unfold later on security camera video from his business along Mill Street in Wailuku.

Komoda released the video footage to police. On Thursday, Maui Crime Stoppers put out a bulletin seeking help in identifying the person seen rummaging through a dumpster.

The fire broke out around 8:20 p.m. Sunday, Komoda said. Two Maui Disposal dumpsters were burned, along with siding of the Ace Printing building and the outside of an electrical meter and its conduits. The blaze did not affect electricity at the business, he said. Damage was estimated at $10,000.

On Sunday night, Komoda was eating dinner at the Maui Fair after volunteering in a soda booth when he received a call from his son-in-law about the fire. His son-in-law’s sister lives near the business and saw the commotion.

Two burnt Maui Disposal dumpsters sit behind Ace Printing this week.

Komoda rushed up to the business, but the two good Samaritans were gone.

The security video recorded a male on a skateboard unlocking the cover of the dumpster, Komoda said. He went through the trash and apparently didn’t take anything. He then lit the dumpster on fire. Flames went as high as 15 feet.

Later, someone who had been riding a moped and a pedestrian on Mill Street were seen pushing the burning dumpster away from the building.

When police and fire officials arrived, the two individuals shook hands and went their separate ways, Komoda said.

Fire Capt. Paul Haake said Engine 1 from Wailuku responded to the alarm around 8:30 p.m. Sunday and found two dumpsters on fire. The fire was extinguished, and fire officials examined the nearby structure, which showed minimal damage, he said.

Evidence discovered during the investigation showed that the fire was intentionally set, Haake said. The case was forwarded to police.

While Komoda was able to open for business on Monday, he said “it’s already hard for small business,” and the fire incident didn’t make things easier. Nothing inside the building was damaged, he added.

Ace co-owner Deanne Komoda, Lloyd’s wife, expressed gratitude to fire and police officials who were “so helpful and patient.”

The printing business was started in 1960 by Lloyd Komoda’s parents. He joined the business in 1970 and took over in 1990.

Anyone with information about the fire should call police Detective Christopher Schmitt at 244-6454.

Anonymous tipsters are encouraged to call Maui Crime Stoppers at 242-6966.

Crime Stoppers pays cash reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and indictment of people responsible for felony crimes. Callers remain anonymous and are given a code number.

* Melissa Tanji can be reached at

This story published on Friday, Oct. 12, 2018, has been corrected.