Residents on edge after attempted kidnapping in Kailua

Local News

HONOLULU(KHON2) — A 9-year-old child out riding her bicycle is nearly kidnapped in broad daylight. It happened Monday just after 11 a.m. in a quiet Kailua neighborhood.

According to family, the child said she was riding her bike on the sidewalk of Paopua Loop when a woman, who was hiding behind a wall, grabbed her and tried to force her into a nearby car. The child fought off her assailant and escaped unharmed.

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Police are still looking for the suspect, and the incident has many on edge.

Shawnie Campbell lives next to where it happened.

“It’s just kind of scary that it’s right here,” Campbell said. “It’s such a quiet neighborhood, it’s so just relaxed, nice neighbors, kind of off the beaten path.”

“Supposedly the girl’s the same age as my two little ones,” Campbell continued. She said she will be watching her kids more closely when they go outside to play.

Evam Wilde also lives nearby and said he walks his dogs down the street daily.

“There’s always a ton of kids, especially on this section of the street,” Wilde said. “You almost think that something like this wouldn’t happen because there’s so many people kind of outside all the time.”

CrimeStoppers Sgt. Chris Kim said incidents like this don’t happen often, but when they do, it’s alarming because it can happen anywhere and it’s often a crime of opportunity.

Kim urges parents to remind their kids to be aware of what’s happening around them.

“Make it a habit to periodically look up, look across the street, look behind your shoulder, make sure no one’s walking up on you, trying to sneak up on you,” Kim explained.

He also said kids should be too engrossed in their cellphone, and if they wear earbuds, put only one side in so they can hear if someone’s approaching from behind.

If someone does grab them, Kim said they should do what it takes to get away.

“Whether it be running away in the opposite direction, screaming for help, fight and draw attention to themselves,” he said.

If possible, try to remember what the perpetrator looks like.

“How tall were they? How short were they? Were they fat? Really skinny? What type of clothing were they wearing? Any scars, marks, tattoos, distinctive characteristics?”

Kim said any details they can remember about the suspect’s car can be helpful too.

What kind of car did they have? Was it a truck or a van? What color was it?

“Things like that are very instrumental to investigation,” Kim said.

He also suggests parents have a code word only they and their child know.

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“Tell your child if someone tries to come and claim you and say they’re here to pick you up,” Kim said, “ask them what that secret password is.”

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