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Donated swim gear stolen from soldiers at Hawaii military compound

By ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: June 13, 2017

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii — Loads of swim gear belonging to U.S. soldiers have been stolen from a military compound on Hawaii's Big Island.

The soldiers woke up last week to find two kayaks, 10 to 20 snorkel sets, all of their fishing poles, two tackle boxes and two paddleboards stolen from the military compound, West Hawaii Today reported. Food, an ukulele and a guitar were also stolen.

The United Service Organization donated the swim gear to the soldiers.

"It's so atypical of the Hawaii Island that this would happen," said Eric Hamilton, public affairs officer for the military compound. "It's possible they didn't know who they were robbing. ... For this to happen is unconscionable."

Nalani Freitas, owner of Overstock N Discounts, said her company will help the organization restock the soldiers' gear, but that it will take some time.

"We do it because we can't do enough for them," Freitas said. "We'd never be able to do enough for the freedom they ensure for us."

The organization has been donating swim gear to the Kawaihae harbor soldiers for nine years, volunteer Gaylene Hopson said.

"For me, I can't believe people would steal, but I really have faith the community will come together," Hopson said.

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