HONOLULU (KHON2) — A string of burglaries on the east side of Oahu is causing angst among residents and concern for business owners.

Several storefronts had their doors smashed and cash registers were taken overnight from Tuesday, May 24 to Wednesday, May 25.

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Shattered glass at the front door was left waiting for some business owners who didn’t know about what occurred yet.

Mama Pho, Aina Haina Chop Suey and Jack’s Restaurant fell victim to smash-and-grabs in Aina Haina. A Mama Pho employee told KHON2 a phone call got him out of bed.

“Got called in around 1:30,” Mama Pho employee Norman Chung said, “store got broken into, cops were here, took a quick look around, they just smashed the front, went for the register.”

There was a similar story at Jack’s Restaurant — less than a football field away from Mama Pho. An employee told KHON2 that the burglars took $100 of change that was left in the register.

“Glass on the front door was completely shattered,” Jack’s Restaurant employee Norman Lee said, “they went inside, took the cash register, and good thing that’s the only thing that they took.”

Two more smash-and-grabs took place at Kuono Marketplace across Kahala Mall, at Daiichi Ramen and BBQ Chicken Hawaii. The manager of nearby Purvé Donut Stop told KHON2 that these crimes affect all local businesses.

“A lot of times, they don’t even know what they’re breaking into — they don’t know who they’re affecting. A lot of it is a small business that struggles. We’re struggling right now as well and when things like this happen, it puts everybody back.”


It was not just Kahala and Aina Haina — Koko Marina’s Moena Cafe and Sophie’s Gourmet Hawaiian Pizzeria were both hit during similar incidents overnight.

“It’s pretty surprising, like you don’t really expect to see that out here, pretty safe usually I’d say, and for the local businesses too, it’s tough,” Hawaii Kai resident Andrew Dawson said.

Video taken from security cameras at Moena Cafe will help police in their investigation. Officials hinted the culprits could be targeting stores without lights or security cameras during a Honolulu police news conference on Wednesday afternoon.

“Crime of opportunity, driving around, whether they’re partying or drunk, what have you and they see a location and then, like you said, poor lighting, no cameras, and then they just find whatever they have, crash the windows and split.”

Glenn Hayashi, Honolulu Police Department Acting Assistant Chief

One Mililani resident had the right idea.

“I guess we all have to look out for one another,” Mililani resident Lisa Young said, “and keep an eye out for our neighbors and watch out. If you see something, report it.”

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The suspects have not yet been identified, Honolulu police are investigating.