HONOLULU (KHON2) — Honolulu police report a 60-year-old man got his arm cut with a knife and his chain stolen in Ewa Beach in broad daylight. Police said, this is just one of the latest incidents in an alarming trend. According to the Honolulu Police Department, 36 percent of robberies over the last two weeks in October involved victims 60 and older.
“Suspects target kupuna, because they’re vulnerable and they target individuals they feel they can overpower, overcome and subdue,” said Capt. Parker Bode, HPD.
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HPD said 17 of the robberies were in the D1 and D5 police districts and many occurred on sidewalks and at bus stops. HPD said it’s a crime of opportunity and kupuna can make themselves less of a target.
“Send a message of confidence. So walk with your head up high, minimize the belongings that you have, look at the front and back of you as much as possible. Also, travel with a friend. Travel in groups if you can and travel in well lit areas,” said Bode.
Kupuna are the community’s most vulnerable and AARP Hawaii believes there’s more to be done to protect them.
“I think the City should probably look and see whether or not these areas can be improved to reduce crime like better lighting especially at bus stops and better security or cameras near or on streets and bus stops,” said Craig Gima, AARP Hawai’i Communications Director.
Honolulu City Councilmembers said surveillance cameras are costly but are an option. There are other short-term solutions that may work.
“We should maybe have more educational programs for our kupuna, maybe PSA’s,” said Say, Honolulu Councilmember. “If we see this happening, here’s what to do;’ but in essence, I would like to see the police department driving around more and more frequently.”
HPD said to remain vigilant and if anyone becomes a victim of crime, remember these tips.
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“Stay calm, don’t resist. Your personal safety is key and get a good description of the suspect. Don’t chase the suspect; we’ll catch the suspect. Call 911 immediately,” Bode said.