HONOLULU (KHON2) — It’s been a tough year for many people, and unfortunately criminals aren’t taking any breaks.
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Two restaurants in Kakaako were broken into the day after Christmas, and there have been multiple car break-ins and mailbox thefts.
Around 9:30 a.m. on December 26, Kevin Aoki went to open his two restaurants in Kakaako. Once he walked in, he knew something was wrong.
“We saw the restaurant bottles on the ground in the noodle shop, we noticed all the terminals were missing,” Aoki said. “We noticed the tablets were gone, and the stereo system was pulled out.”
Aoki has several surveillance cameras in his restaurants and checked the surveillance tapes and caught a glimpse of the suspect.
He said around 7 a.m., the suspect was seen outside the back of the restaurant and used a tool to break open the door.
Aoki said within 15 minutes, the suspect took off with $5,000 worth of items including expensive liquor and equipment.
Aoki opened both restaurants earlier this year and said it’s been a struggle to keep the restaurant open due to the pandemic.
He said a large portion of his sales has been delivery and takeout with companies like Door Dash, Uber Eats and GrubHub. Aoki explained that each company has a tablet, and the thief took off with all of them.
“So, we lost all of those tablets,” he explained. “Now we’re going to have to re-apply to all those companies again and have them issue it back to us. Everyday we’re losing that income of take-out and delivery business.”
Aoki had an electrician come in to rewire the restaurants.
“I felt like he came in and violated my space, we all worked hard to build this and just someone who doesn’t care about the hard work that it takes to run a place, so for me, I don’t want that to happen to other businesses out there so I want to make sure this person is caught and prosecuted,” he said.
Aoki said he’s brought in a locksmith to resecure all the doors; he is also working on tighter surveillance.
Crimestoppers said it’s good Aoki invested in quality cameras and has a clear image of the suspect.
They advise businesses to invest in quality locks as well.
Crimestoppers said there hasn’t been an uptick in crime this year. Statistically, numbers are down from 2019. There is always an uptick in car break-ins around the holidays, but it can be prevented.
“People are just being careless and they’re leaving items in their vehicle,” Sgt. Chris Kim explained.
He said thieves will break-in if they see anything of value.
“It can be something as easy as an empty shopping bag that you forgot in the car, or even an empty cardboard box,” he said.
It can happen anywhere too including busy streets with people walking by.
“They’re taking a chance because it only takes a matter of one or two seconds for them to shatter the window, reach in, and take off that property,” Sgt. Kim explained.
He recommends people invest in an alarm system and to remove items daily.
He said thieves have also been paying attention to the spike in online holiday shopping.
“So, they’re targeting these particular mailboxes that are easy to open,” he said. “They can just walk down the street, pull these mailbox doors and just check whatever packages are in there.”
He encourages people to invest in a locked mailbox and make a police report if your mail is stolen.
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