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Two are arrested in connection with Haiku burglary, vehicle theft

The Maui News

WAILUKU — Two men have been arrested for allegedly damaging a security gate and door while burglarizing a Haiku home and stealing a vehicle.

Kawika Lukeala, 32, and Keala Baker, 33, are each charged with first-degree burglary, first-degree theft, unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, attempted second-degree theft, third-degree criminal property damage and fourth-degree theft.

The burglary and theft occurred July 25 at a residence on Hana Highway in Haiku, according to the complaints against Lukeala and Baker.

During the defendants’ initial appearances Friday in Wailuku District Court, Deputy Prosecutor Anthony Herndon said Lukeala and Baker allegedly broke into the home, damaged the security gate and broke the front door.

Baker, with Lukeala as an accomplice, allegedly stole a silver Porsche from the residence, Herndon said. He said Baker was an accomplice to Lukeala, who allegedly tried to steal a Hummer vehicle that didn’t start.

Herndon asked for bail to be increased from $25,000 to $62,000 for Baker, who has 36 prior convictions, including 27 for felony offenses. Baker has eight pending felony cases in 2nd Circuit Court, Herndon said.

He also asked for a bail increase from $15,000 to $32,000 for Lukeala, who has seven prior convictions including two for felony offenses. His prior convictions include one for first-degree burglary, Herndon said.

Deputy Public Defender Gustavo Gonzalez opposed any increase in bail for both men.

Lukeala’s prior record includes mostly traffic matters, Gonzalez said. He said Lukeala was released last year after serving the full 10-year prison term for his prior burglary conviction.

“He has paid his debt to society,” Gonzalez said.

He said Lukeala wasn’t working because of the pandemic and was living in Haiku with family members.

Judge Kirstin Hamman increased bail to the amounts requested by the prosecution.

“The court is concerned about the serious nature of the charges,” she said.

Both defendants were ordered to have no contact with the victim and to stay away from his residence. Lukeala and Baker also were ordered not to consume alcohol or illegal drugs and to report for random testing if they are released from jail.

Lukeala was arrested Tuesday, and Baker was arrested Wednesday, according to police records.

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