Mom and daughter traumatized from brazen robbery

Local News

An ordinary shopping trip for a woman and her daughter turned out to be anything but that. 

They were robbed in broad daylight in a busy parking lot.

This happened at the Costco parking lot in Iwilei Sunday at three in the afternoon, so there were a lot of people around. A security expert says that can create a false sense of security.

Lisa Barr had just finished shopping at Costco and was on her way back to the car when a thief snuck up from behind and snatched her purse from her shopping cart. 

“I had my purse an inch away from me, just right in. I was pushing it and the man came from right behind us so I feel like he was already targeting us,” she said.

Her 16-year-old daughter Mariah ran after him, which alarmed Lisa even more, so she ran after him too.They were able to grab him briefly but he pushed them away and took off in a car. 

“Very traumatizing. I’ve never experienced anything like that. Hawaii is not a scary place for me, ever. I’ve never been so scared in my life,” said Mariah.

When police came they were told that purse snatchings and other thefts have increased in that lot recently. So they’re sharing their story to let other shoppers know. And hopefully get Costco to increase security measures.

“They need to know that this is happening because if I had known, I would not have ever gone back to that Costco that I frequent regularly. I don’t want to go back,” said Lisa Barr.

Security expert Lee Donohue says day or night, shoppers need to keep in mind that they’re always at risk from thieves. Keeping your purse right in front of you may seem safe, but…

“You shouldn’t leave it where it’s so accessible to anyone who can just grab it and go. If you’re gonna do it, put it down in the bottom of the shopping cart, put everything else around it,” said Donohue.

He adds it’s best not to run after the suspect because you can put yourself in more danger. But don’t be shy about yelling to get other people’s attention.

“You’d be surprised. A lot of times yelling out stop, leave me alone, putting your hands up. People start looking and that draws attention,” said Donohue.

We tried to talk to Costco management to ask if anything is being done to increase security. We’re still waiting for a response.

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