CrimeStoppers says face masks are making it harder to identify wanted criminals


HONOLULU (KHON) — More people are staying at home amid the pandemic, but according to Honolulu Police, crime has not stopped and now it is even more challenging to get wanted criminals off the streets. 

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The island’s infamous “Coconut Wireless” was great for Crimestoppers Honolulu before wearing a face mask was necessary and normal. 

“Our theory is everybody knows each other on this island. We’d always be excited to get surveillance photos or footage, because we knew that we were going to apprehend the suspect. We figured somebody out there would recognize this person, whether it be a friend, neighbor, family member, or somebody you went to high school with,” said Crimestoppers Honolulu coordinator Sgt. Chris Kim. 

He says criminals are using face masks to their advantage.

“It’s definitely been more challenging, but not impossible,” he said, regarding Honolulu Police detectives solving certain cases. 

CrimeStoppers now wants the public to focus on other characteristics of each wanted fugitive.

“Pay attention to their demeanor,” Kim said. “Do they have an accent when they talk, do they have a high voice or a low voice? Do they have a limp? Do they have certain scars, marks or tattoos?”

A suspect’s tattoo is vital vital information for detectives.

“We have tattoos that are uploaded into our system where we’re able to match these things,” explained Kim. 

CrimeStoppers recently put out surveillance pictures and video of three cases that Honolulu Police need the public’s help in solving. 

On Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, two men walked into a construction site on Moanalua Road, and stole a forklift. 

On Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020, a man went to meet a client at a Waikiki hotel. He was attacked by two men when he entered the hotel room. The suspects tied him up, stole his belongings, and ran off.

On Monday, Jan. 25, a man carrying a large hunting knife walked into the 7/11 convenience store in Nanakuli, stole various items off of the shelves and ran out. 

“Even though these people are covered up, someone’s still gonna recognize them. We’ve had family members turn in family members. We’ve had friend’s exes call in.. They’re just trying to do the right thing. And the great thing about Crimestoppers is that we always keep you anonymous,” said Kim. 

Anyone with information about these incidents, call CrimeStoppers at 955-8300. The public may now send anonymous web tips to the CrimeStoppers website or via the P3 Tips app. You may also be eligible to earn up to a $1,000 reward.

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