Kalihi restaurant plagued by repeated break-ins

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The owners of a Kalihi restaurant are warning nearby businesses to be on alert.

Tatsuo’s has repeatedly been broken into, most recently early Monday morning.

Around 1:30 a.m., someone smashed the glass door of Tatsuo’s on Alahao Place.  

“We have some footage of a male individual peeping through the window around the same time the incident happened,” said Gavin Morita, who’s family owns Tatsuo’s. 

The family says the suspect went around to the back of the building and cut the power.  

“They came to the front, took a rock and broke the florescent light to dim and darken the place so they wouldn’t be seen,” Morita said. 

The suspect then allegedly threw the rock through the glass door, shattering it, and triggering the motion detector in the restaurant to go off. 

“The alarm is very loud and can be heard from a couple miles away, we think that’s what scared him off,” Morita said. 

Although the suspect didn’t take anything, the repairs hurt the business. 

“We’re not a mainstream business where we have a bunch of tourism coming through,” he said. 

“Something like this affects us greatly because it’s a cost that can’t be controlled—like food costs, gas, electric—it’s very taxing on a small mom and pop shop like ours.”

The family just renovated the restaurant last year and adds that the area has changed drastically. 

“We’re seeing more homeless walking through the area, loose dogs, more chronic people, more suspicious cars coming through. A lot of our neighbors—their gas has been siphoned, our friend who owns a pluming shop—his tools were stolen, over $5,000 worth of tools stolen, graffiti in the area, defecating in front of our restaurant,” Morita said. 

According to the police department’s crime mapping website, there’s been more 30 crimes within a half-mile radius of the restaurant within the last month.

“If we can all kokua and be each others eyes and be those good neighbors to each other, I think those things can be stopped,” Morita said. 

The restaurant still opened for business Monday. 

No arrests have been made.

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