Police arrest 7 in sweep of Big Island neighborhood

January 2, 2019 GMT

HILO, Hawaii (AP) — Police have arrested seven people following a sweep targeting squatters occupying residences in a Big Island neighborhood hit by lava flows during the Kilauea volcano eruption.

Police Capt. Kenneth Quiocho tells the Hawaii Tribune-Herald that the seven were arrested for trespassing last week in Leilani Estates, but officers found several had active warrants, including one person who was wanted for robbery.

He says police checked houses in the neighborhood after residents reported people possibly squatting.

Squatters have been a problem in the area after residents were forced to evacuate in May as lava approached the neighborhood. Residents were allowed to return in September.

Quiocho says police are working with the community to address the problem.


Information from: Hawaii Tribune-Herald, http://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/