Warning for shoppers after woman kidnapped while loading her vehicle

Local News

Police are investigating a kidnapping in the Ala Moana area.

According to police, a 55-year-old woman was loading her vehicle when a 19-year-old man entered the car and took keys from the center console.

The woman jumped into the passenger seat as the suspect drove off. She pleaded with the man to let her out, but he ignored her until they got into an accident and police arrested the suspect.

Former Honolulu police chief Lee Donohue says anyone can become a target at shopping centers, so being prepared is key.

To protect yourself from an opportunity of crime, Donohue says you can start by knowing where to park. Park in lighted areas where there are a lot of people.

As an added measure, avoid parking next to vans.

“Especially where the door opens up where you are going in, because they can open the doors and pull you right into the van,” Donohue said.

Donohue says crooks look for people carrying a lot of bags to the car.

“If you have a lot of stuff, they know you’re going to be loading a lot of stuff from the shopping cart. They know you’re going to be there for a bit,” Donohue said.

Donohue suggests not to go looking for your keys when you’re at your car, because then you’re distracted looking for them. You should always have it in your hands before you head to the car.

Donohue suggests putting away your purse or valuables first, lock your front doors, then load your items in the trunk.

You don’t want to be a target from behind.

“I’m going by you and I’m pulling, and you may land on the ground or we may end up in a battle, and we are going to struggle here, so how valuable is this to you?” Donohue said. “Whatever is in there, that can all be replaced, but you can’t replace yourself.”

A Honolulu Police Department spokeswoman says if a stranger tries to drive off with your vehicle, do not hang onto or enter the vehicle.

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