HONOLULU (KHON2) — Another local business took a hit after thieves broke into a restaurant in Kapahulu, the owner said the suspects got away with a few thousand dollars. While they will recover financially, he is sharing his story to spread awareness and put thieves on notice.  

Surveillance video shows the alleged suspect grabbing and pulling on a cash register, the owner of Alejandro’s Mexican Food Alejandro Alvarado said they took two registers and a safe. The suspect broke into a lock box, where he found the key to the restaurant. 

“They did not seem in a rush; they were methodical in what they were doing,” Alvarado said. “They came, they got what they wanted and I am thankful that it wasn’t worse, I am thankful that there wasn’t more vandalism to the restaurant.”

He said sensors in the camera that detect motion went unnoticed by him and his co-owner, they only found out they were victims of theft when the morning opener arrived. 

“Our opener, who’s my mother-in-law, she’s 74 years old — she’s calling us to say ‘hey the back door is wide open’ and she was nervous,” said Alvarado. “She was scared. I said don’t enter.”

Surveillance footage from the outside shows a man carrying what seems to be a safe and register, moments later a car pulls up to pick him up. 

Besides attempts to steal a tip jar from the takeout window, Alvarado said they have not had major issues since opening in 2020. 

But he said he is noticing more about small business owners being targeted by crime. At least two burglaries were documented on Honolulu Police Department’s crime map in Kapahulu last week. 

Alvarado said he is refusing to remain quiet about this incident and encouraging others to stay alert. 

“If you’re coming from a tip pool place or you have cash tips at night, walk with somebody and walk with other people, just be more aware,” Alvarado said. “Times are a little tougher and the economy is not in the best situation. There’s going to be other people looking to get something for free.”

The restaurant’s locks have been changed and Alvarado said he is having safety discussions with employees to prevent another break-in.