HONOLULU (KHON2) — Thieves are preying on our kupuna, from cyber scams to brazen home invasions.

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“All over the island from Ewa Beach, Manoa, Pacific heights or Kahala, where individuals have entered the home in the daylight hours and to find seniors inside those homes. Fortunately, it hasn’t resulted in serious injury or death, but the potential is great there,” says Scott Spallina, Honolulu Deputy Prosecuting Attorney.

Spallina recommends locking your doors, assess your home for blind spots where criminals could enter, invest in security cameras and get to know your neighbors.

“Introduce yourself and say if you need anything let me help you. We need to look out for each other. Not just our kupuna but everyone because we’re all in this together. Crime affects everybody. Not just the old and the young, but everybody. So, we need to team up together,” says Spallina.

He also encourages getting a four-legged friend. 

“Get a loud barking dog. Criminals want to work quietly. They don’t want to draw attention. If you have a neighbor that has a loud barking dog, that’s good because not only is that dog protecting his house, he’s protecting houses around him,” says Spallina. “In the news, we hear about crimes of violence and home invasions. But the silent crimes are hitting our kupuna the most. That silent crime is financial crimes.”

And these crimes are being committed by family members.

“The reason their silent is because the victim does not want to come forward and admit that my son, my daughter, my nephew, my niece stole from me. We’re dealing with such a violation of trust,” says Spallina.

So, what should families do to prevent this from happening?

“Talk to your family and let them know what your plans are. Get an estate planner and have everybody on the same page. Often times we have children so caught up in their own lives that that they don’t understand their parents are also living lives too. Their parents are being introduced to elements that might try and take advantage of them,” says Spallina.