Suspected burglar remains on the run on Kauai after ocean escape
By Paul Curtis
The Garden Island
LIHUE — Broad-daylight burglary, high-speed chase, suspect escapes by jumping into the ocean and swimming off.
Maybe in California. But Kapaa?
It happened Christmas Eve when thieves who earlier broke into a Wailua Homesteads residence and took Christmas presents, cash, jewelry, laptops and a purse, came back for the 2009 Nissan truck with the keys found in the purse, according to police reports and the property owner.
After a high-speed chase that Kauai Police Lt. Sherwin Kaleo Perez characterized as a “traffic stop,” the truck was recovered, but suspect Lii Kaimana Damon Jack Cook got away, apparently by jumping into the ocean and swimming off near Lydgate Beach Park, the Homesteads property owner said.
In police custody are Brad Kubisch and Chelsie Malie Banasihan, each charged with two counts of first-degree burglary and two counts of second-degree theft. Cook faces the same charges when apprehended, court records show.
Banasihan on Dec. 29 pleaded not guilty and requested a jury trial. Her total bail in this and another burglary and assault case is $22,000, according to court records.
Kubisch is scheduled to enter his plea today before 5th Circuit Judge Randal Valenciano.
Cook, Kubisch and Banasihan are believed to be partners in crimes that included break-ins, entries and burglaries in hotel rooms, vacation rentals and other places where visitors were staying in Poipu and apparently residential mauka Kauai, according to Kauai Police Chief Darryl Perry.
Banasihan, 21, is from Waimea. Cook, 25, has a last known address in Kapaa. Kubisch, 24, has a last known address in Lihue.
Perez yesterday confirmed Banasihan and Kubisch remain in custody.