Suspected car thief still at large in Manoa Valley

Manoa Road reopened just before 11 a.m.

 UPDATED 8:10 PM HST May 03, 2013
HONOLULU -

A manhunt for a car thief paralyzed a portion of Manoa for several hours Friday morning.

For close to four hours, the only people going in and out of the old Paradise Park were the police.

That meant for Treetops cook Vince Pang, work would have to wait.

"My boss is inside and the other cook, too," said Pang, who has been a cook at Treetops restaurant for 17 years.

Manoa Road was shut down shortly after 7 a.m. after a patrol officer noticed a Honda Civic matching the description of a stolen car cruising through the neighborhood and followed it to Manoa Road.

The driver ditched the car and took off running, prompting a massive manhunt in the park.

"All I know is about 15 to 20 cop cars went in.  I've been counting ever since I got here," said Bronson Yadao, a maintenance worker at Lyon Aboretum.

The shutdown short-circuited party plans at Treetops for some 200 members of the Hawaii Electrical Retirees Association.

"It's supposed to be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., but right now we don't know [when we can go].  But, the food is already cooked," said Walter Ashitomi, an association member who had been waiting to go in at 9 a.m.

PHOTOS: Police search for suspected car thief in Manoa
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A manhunt for a car thief paralyzed a portion of Manoa for several hours Friday morning.

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Click here for more pictures from the scene.

Manoa trail hikers were also out of luck.  Operations at the Lyon Aboretum were affected, but employees like Yadao weren't too upset.

"The weeds can wait.  Yeah, I'd be pulling weeds.  Cutting something down right now.  But, it can wait till Monday," said Yadao.

When an extensive search of the area turned up empty, guests were allowed in just before 11 a.m.

Police plan to continue to search the area for the suspect, but said they don't believe anyone is in danger.

The suspect is described as a man in his early 20s, wearing a black shirt and grey shorts with a fair complexion.  Anyone with information is asked to call police.

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