HONOLULU (KHON2) — Three robberies within a 24-hour period add to a recent rash of violent crime in the Kapahulu-Kahala area. It’s putting many residents and businesses on high alert.
A liquor store, a grocery store and a gas station mini mart–all robbed in just five short hours in the Kapahulu area late Tuesday into Wednesday.
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Police have not confirmed whether they are connected. It started at Kapahulu Stop & Shop around 8:30 p.m. The cashier asked not to be identified.
The cashier said he was getting ready to close and stepped away from the register to wash his hands.
“When I came back, someone was standing (at the counter) so I thought they wanted to buy cigarettes,” he explained.
He was wrong.
“He told me, ‘Uncle, give me the money’ and showed me his gun.”
Less than two hours later, Safeway was robbed just a few blocks away.
Police reports said the suspect used force against the security guard and ran out with merchandise.
After midnight on Thursday, Aloha Island Mini Mart on Waialae Avenue was robbed.
According to police, the suspect threatened the cashier with a machete.
These are just the latest in a series of violent crimes in the neighborhood.
Two weeks ago, Popeyes on Kapahulu Avenue was robbed. Video surveillance showed three masked men entering the fast food restaurant with guns.
That same week, a Kapahulu home was burglarized by three men in ski masks. The 38-year-old victim said the thieves posed as DEA agents, held him down and demanded access to a safe in the home.
Kapahulu neighborhood board member George West said he has noticed an increase in crime.
“Very strange, very alarming, very concerning,” West said. “It’s more than we’ve accustomed to seeing for sure.”
With the uptick in violent crime, residents and businesses in the area are calling for action
“I’d like to see more visibility of law enforcement, whether it be the blue and whites patrolling the area if it’s feet on the ground but I definitely think we need more visibility,” West said.
Barry Morrison owns Interisland Surf Shop on Kapahulu Avenue. It’s just a few doors down from the liquor store robbed Wednesday.
“Up and down this street, we have more criminals migrating here,” Morrison said.
Morrison worries the City’s Safe and Sound Waikiki program to deter crime may be pushing it into nearby communities.
“Yes, there’s a spill over,” Morrison said. “Kapahulu residents are not going to tolerate this…it’s not only me its everyone down the line.”
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Morrison said city officials need to pay more attention to what’s happening in Kapahulu before it’s too late.