The latest data from the FBI shows property crimes and thefts are on the rise in Hawaii, especially on Oahu.
Experts say these are crimes of vulnerability. There are ways to lessen that and force thieves to go somewhere else.
FBI statistics showed that property crimes, burglaries, and larceny thefts had been going down in recent years, but went up in 2018.
Property crimes rose from 33,206 to nearly 34-thousand, burglaries from 4,237 to 4,328 and larceny thefts, like purse snatching, went up from 24,556 to 24,758. HPD says because Honolulu is a tourist destination, many visitors become prime targets. But residents can become victims as well. Experts say take the necessary precautions for burglaries by installing security cameras and an alarm system. Also, trim your yard so the windows are exposed.
“The best way to do it is really walk around your property line and think like a burglar and if you see a window that, I can really just step on that trash can and I can go right through that window. Then that’s a vulnerability that you have to lessen,” said security expert Bobby Cravalho, a retired HPD lieutenant.
He says shoppers also put themselves at risk when they put items in the trunk and then walk away. He says you should always assume thieves are watching.
“They’re looking for that vulnerability and once they see it then they’re gonna prey on that vulnerability. So what you want to do is lessen that vulnerability, be smart,” he said.
Cravalho says these types of crimes happen fast. Thieves are just waiting for that opportunity to catch you off guard. So always be alert, even when you’re just doing everyday things.
“You can be shopping in a supermarket and for a lady or woman leaving her bag in the cart while she’s looking at an item, they just come right by and pick it up and you won’t even notice,” said Cravalho.
He adds that you should be always be aware of your situation. If something doesn’t feel right, trust your instincts.
Also, get to know your neighbors. Start a neighborhood watch group so everyone can be aware of any suspicious activity.