Carjacked and Cornered: Couple’s Night of Terror on a Hawaiian Volcano


A California couple’s Hawaiian getaway turned into a harrowing ordeal when they were carjacked and forced to flee up a volcano. Alex and Justina Lucero, 31 and 29, respectively, were driving a rented silver Ford Mustang on the Kaupō of Haleakalā on June 4 when they encountered a masked gunman.

The couple had been told that the road was open, but as they approached a blind curve, they noticed a truck pulling up behind them. They moved over to let it pass, but the truck cut them off and the driver, wearing a mask and hooded sweatshirt, exited his vehicle and approached them with a gun.

The gunman ordered the Luceros to leave their valuables and keys in the car and start walking. As they did, they realized they were being hunted and decided to take their chances and run up the volcano to find a hiding spot. From their vantage point, they witnessed another driver, in a white van labeled as a taxi, meet up with the gunman.

The couple was forced to camp out on the volcano overnight, drinking from a small waterfall to stay hydrated. They were unable to escape or call for help, and were left feeling overwhelmed and hunted. The next morning, they spotted two men on horseback who may have been colluding with the carjacker, and were unsure if they could trust anyone they saw.

It wasn’t until a park ranger spotted them that they were able to get help. The Maui Police Department arrested Christopher Helmer four days later, in connection to a separate kidnapping and terroristic threat he allegedly partook in back in May. Helmer was found operating the stolen Mustang and had a loaded firearm. He was charged with first-degree robbery, firearm and drug offenses, and driving a stolen vehicle, and remains in police custody with bail set at $500,000.

Olivia Rondeau
Olivia Rondeau
Digital Reporter. Previously, Olivia was a contributor at the Daily Caller, a staff writer at Foundation for Economic Education, and a Pennsylvania Campus Correspondent at Campus Reform. Prior to that, she worked in social media, research, and public relations at Arsenal Media Group. Olivia is a political science major at the East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania.

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