HONOLULU (KHON2) — Koa Pancake House’s Hawaii Kai, Moanalua and Kaimuki locations have been hit by thieves repeatedly over the past year. The owner told KHON2 News, its Kaimuki locations have been targeted three times in the last two months.
“After we close, always somebody breaks in during the middle of the night,” said Samsoon Chung, Koa Pancake House owner.
Chung said, thieves have stolen money and have ripped out entire cash registers. It’s been taking an emotional and financial toll on the family-owned and operated business.
“They break in the glass, we have to replace the glass and then put temporary door until the glass can come in from the mainland,” said Chung.
Now, Koa Pancake House is changing up its operations at the register to avoid becoming a victim again.
“The more they break in, it hurts more and then we come to decide cashless and credit card only,” Chung said.
Koa Pancake House said going cashless was a tough decision, but it was one they had to make for their safety.
According to the Honolulu Police Department’s data dashboard, there have been 155 burglaries in October so far. HPD said, burglaries are down in 2023 nearly 27% compared to last year.
Going cashless is something the Retail Merchants of Hawaii is seeing businesses adopt as an alternative to reduce crime. However, it can be hit or miss with customers.
“Some of them are going cashless and for some of them it may work and for some it may not, it just depends who their customer base is,” said Tina Yamaki, Retail Merchants of Hawaii president.
“The other side, credit cards, some people don’t have a credit card that’s why I’m afraid it reduces our sales,” said Chung.
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Koa Pancake House said the customer response has been positive for the most part so far. Its Kaimuki, Hawaii Kai and Moanalua locations are currently cashless. They’ll eventually transition all locations to credit card only.