48-year-old man charged with setting racks of surfboards on fire in Waikiki


A 48-year-old man has been charged with first-degree arson related to Sunday’s blaze that destroyed hundreds of surfboards in Waikiki that were stored next to a Honolulu Police Department station.

Glenn A. Helton was arrested and is being held on $ 70,000 bond. First degree arson carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

“Arson is one of the most dangerous crimes and spreads fear throughout the community,” District Attorney Steve Alm said in a statement. “The surfboards that were stored in these racks meant so much to many in the surfing community and we will vigorously sue Helton for the harm he allegedly caused.”

This is the second time in less than two years that surfboard racks have been destroyed by an intentionally started fire. They were also destroyed in February 2020.

Immediately after Honolulu firefighters put out the double-alarm fire on Sunday morning, police arrested a 43-year-old man near the scene. The HPD released the man that night and arrested a 48-year-old man on Tuesday morning.

Sunday’s fire caused damage estimated at $ 650,000, including $ 100,000 for the surf lockers and $ 300,000 for their contents. The fire also caused approximately $ 250,000 in damage to adjacent buildings, including the Waikiki Beachside Bistro and the Moana Surfrider Hotel.

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