KAPOLEI, Hawaii (KHON2) — Vandalism is on the rise as criminals target City buses and some businesses that are already struggling from the pandemic.

Honolulu CrimeStoppers and Oahu Transit Services (OTS) are teaming up to combat a spike in bus vandalism.

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“So there’s been a drastic increase over the last three months, I would say double the amount of incidents that we typically have. So a lot of times what we’ll see is people are throwing bottles, rocks at the buses and they’re hitting the windows and shattering the glass,” said Jenny Lemaota, OTS deputy general manager.

CrimeStoppers is searching for a suspect after an unknown object was thrown at TheBus on Wednesday, March 23. This type of vandalism has been happening about four times per week — or once every two days.

Officials said riders should not be concerned for their safety, however.

“Fortunately, a lot of the times when something does hit the glass, there are protective film within the glass that holds the glass together to keep it from shattering within,” Lemaota said. “So there, if anything, there’s only been a few minor injuries for people who have been inside TheBus.”

One rider said she feels safe on TheBus, but wonders why these cases are on the rise.

“Well, I was curious of what was causing it,” said Kapahulu resident Anne White. “I was curious what the root of that was and what was causing people to shift their feelings towards TheBus and have a negative response, like throwing rocks!”

“We’re hoping that everything subsides. It’s just noticing this spike, we just want to make sure the community is aware and whatever they can do to help out,” Lemaota said. “If you do see somebody throwing something, call 911 immediately, let them know.”

It is not just buses, businesses have been getting hit with vandalism as well. Two restaurants in Kapolei Shopping Center fell victim to smash-and-grabs on Thursday, March 24.

“The front glass is broken, all mess. When I go inside, the register is all mess up,” said Hot Pot Heaven chef Hung. “It’s kind of hard, you know, I don’t understand why they pick on all the food industry right now. The restaurant industry is struggling during this pandemic.”

Hot Pot Heaven is right next to Pho & Company, which was also hit by a smash-and-grab on Thursday. Owner Tony Huynh had a similar story.

“Then I look at my camera footage at home, I saw, woah! The glass is broken, the cash register is taken,” Huynh said. “People, like, I think they need money, they need something. So they can do anything to get that.”

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“I feel really, really sorry for those who fall into this situation, but I think customer is understanding too,” Huynh said. “So it’s not, I don’t think it’s going to impact much because people understand the situation.”