HONOLULU (KHON2) — In Kaimukī, the Honolulu Police Department said they have opened a burglary investigation in the incident after thieves broke into the Popoki + Tea Cat Cafe overnight.
Security cameras were able to capture an image of the two men who are seen in the video taking a cash drawer. HPD said they have not yet confirmed whether arrests have been made.
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Honolulu police opened a burglary investigation on Thursday, March 23 after thieves broke into the cat café in Kaimukī.
The owner of Popoki + Tea is still wrapping her head around the incident.
“They reached over the counter and grabbed the cash box and left within 10, 20 seconds,” Liberty Peralta said. “It was quick.”
When I was watching the footage, I was pretty numb and detached. I mean, it was just a lot happening really quickly. But, to see the actual crime happening is, you know, it’s unsettling.”Liberty Peralta, Popoki + Tea owner
The store manager at The Public Pet — right next door to Popoki + Tea — arrived at work on Thursday and saw the broken door.
“And, I just saw the door; and I was, like, ‘oh snap, oh no,'” said Stephanie Miki. “So, it makes us really sad that, like, this still happened cause it’s a cat café! Why would you wanna rob a cat café? There’s just a bunch of cute cats sleeping and chilling, and they’re there for adoption, don’t, don’t disturb them!”
Peralta said no cats were harmed and none escaped during the incident. She is thankful to have a double-door system that keeps the felines away from the entrance room.
“To prevent the cats escaping through the main door. And, that’s, this is one example that we have that,” Peralta said. “The cats, they’re all fine. I’m sure they’re all. The cats were wondering what was going on, but they’re all accounted for.”
Police CrimeMapping shows at least seven incidents in the vicinity of Waiʻalae Avenue, several were theft cases. A member of the Keep it Kaimukī movement said having security cameras and alarms as well as not keeping cash in-store overnight are key for business safety.
“And, I’m always about making sure your staff is aware; so, instead of hiding that this is a problem, being transparent that this is happening in our neighborhood, so keep extra eyes out,” Summer Shiigi said.
Popoki + Tea said total loss with repairs will cost about $1,500. They are still open for business, but it is charge-only until they get a new cash drawer.
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“The best way that people can support us right now is to come in and visit the cats because that’s how we’re able to take care of them,” Peralta said.