HONOLULU (KHON2) — Police are investigating a string of smash-and-grabs happening in the Kapolei area. On Friday, June 17, two restaurants spent the day picking up broken glass and boarding up. The next morning, three more restaurants across the street went through the same ordeal.
Mamaya, Pearl’s Korean BBQ and Loco Moco Drive Inn customers were greeted with boarded doors on Monday, June 20, but two of them were still open for business.
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Employees at Mamaya and Loco Moco Drive Inn couldn’t comment on the incident, but one of the businesses showed KHON2 surveillance video of two people going through the restaurant.
“Despite the physical security presence we maintain Kapolei Shopping Center, 24/7, these criminals were still able to find an opportunity to do a smash-and-grab at some time around 2 a.m. early Saturday morning,” David Marsh, General Manager, told KHON2 on Tuesday, June 21.
He shared that it’s very disheartening to see small businesses impacted in this way, particularly their tenants, as the shopping center emphasizes security presence at all times.
At the time of the incident this past weekend, they had two Securitas guards on duty. Marsh said they are looking to add oversight and guard shifts as much as their tight budget can provide.
“In addition to the uptick in these property crimes, labor shortages and planned minimum wage increases put a strain on our ability to simply add more security,” he said.
Meanwhile, My Cafe across the street had surveillance video showing just one suspect spending about a minute inside. One store over, Thai Lao Restaurant had a similar story. Both places said their cash drawers were taken. And the crime didn’t stop there on Friday, June 17.
Tiffany’s Nails employees told KHON2 that someone also tried to break into their place, but alarms went off after the suspect attempted to break the glass with a rock.
“Everybody is hurting so bad right now that we decided to stay open with like a very limited menu,” said Mark Nakagawa, owner of My Cafe. “Just another layer of something to worry about.”
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Loco Moco Drive Inn on Monday said police told them Ka Makana Aliʻi businesses have also been targeted. KHON2 reached out to the mall for comment and did not receive a response at the time of this publication.