HONOLULU (KHON2) — A 65-year-old grandmother was battered and bleeding after a violent home invasion Friday afternoon in Palolo, and the thieves are still on the loose.
A brazen robbery in the middle of the afternoon. According to police records, two unknown men broke into the home on the corner of Kalua Place Friday at 1:40pm, directly across from William Paul Jarrett Middle School.
Family members confirmed 65-year-old Ginger Souza was home babysitting her granddaughter when she heard a noise in the back room. Souza confronted the two men.
Sources say one of them had a handgun. When Souza used a knife to defend herself, one suspect took it away and cut her with it.
Police say she was bound and assaulted. Police records show that the thieves stole multiple items before leaving the scene.
Sources said the two-year-old grandchild was not harmed, but family members said the child was frightened by the experience.
Neighbors nearby were shocked.
“They’ve always been so kind and generous to me…so its even more unfortunate that the folks I consider to be our neighborhood watch have been hurt by this,” Debora Halbert said. Halbert lives nearby and said speaks to the Souza’s often.
“They had informed that across the street (from their home) they had caught some folks on camera trying to break into their (neighbors) home. And across the street from that a few months ago there had been an attempted robbery as well,” Halbert said.
Dave Dunaway was born and raised in Palolo. He also knows the Souza family well and works at the Middle School.
“It was very difficult to hear what happened,” Dunaway said.
Dunaway explained that he was working at the school and they could see all of the police cars in front of the Souza home because it was around the time school was getting out.
“I think it was more shocking for the community because we were kind of doing damage control with some of the students,” Dunaway explained.
City Council Member Ann Kobayashi was appalled at the violent nature of the robbery.
“They’re really getting brazen. To assault an older woman when she’s home just to grab her stuff. Really? I mean, where’s the aloha in our city? You just hate to think of people hurting other people. You go in and take stuff that’s bad enough, but then to hurt someone–especially an older woman. And with a grandchild there. That is really terrible,” Kobayashi said.
Even her home was recently burglarized.
“They smashed my window and then they reached in and unlocked he door,” Kobayashi explained as she pointed to the broken window in her garage with plywood behind it.
Kobayashi said she was thankful that she wasn’t home at the time of the robbery.
She is holding a community meeting December 2, 2019 to get feedback about recent crimes in the Manoa/Palolo area. Contact her office for more information about the meeting at 547-7005.
Police are still looking for the two suspects that robbed the Souza home in Palolo Friday. If you have any information, call Crimestoppers at 955-8300.