A recent assault, robbery at an Oahu mall prompts security upgrades

A recent assault, robbery at an Oahu mall prompts security upgrades

KAPOLEI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Honolulu police are investigating after a man was assaulted by a group of teens at a Kapolei shopping mall Monday night.

Cellphone video of the incident at Ka Makana Alii shows a boy grabbing the victim's cellphone out of his hand.

As several more teens walk by, another throws a punch at the man. A third teen kicks the man while he’s on the ground.

"People getting hurt and abused like that is kind of a shocker," said Ewa Beach resident Shelbi Pantastico.

Pantastico says the shopping mall has been a target for criminals, and says she's afraid to leave her car in the parking lot.

"When I used to work out at 24-Hour Fitness, I came back to my car and my door handle was ripped off, so I had to get it replaced. I had friends' vehicles get stolen before," said Pantastico.

But mall management says they recently made significant changes to improve security after hearing the community's concerns.

"We increased our security personnel and modified the security teams uniforms so they are more visible," said Stephanie England, general manager of Ka Makana Alii. "We've increased signage to encourage our shoppers to lock, take, and hide their belongings. We've also made substantial upgrades to our CCTV system."

Some shoppers say they do feel safer.

"I think I see a security guard every time I come now," said Joan Debrah. "There are signs up telling us to not keep valuables in the car."

Ka Makana Alii is not the only mall dealing with security issues.

From the start of the year, data from CrimeMapping.com show other shopping centers around the island had higher numbers of vehicle break-ins, vandalism, and robberies:

  • Ala Moana Center - 53 reports
  • Pearlridge Center - 24 reports
  • Pearl Highlands – 20 reports
  • Ka Makana Alii – 14 reports
  • Waikele Premium Outlets - 13 reports

“It’s not just a single shopping center’s problem, this is an islandwide issue. As a community, we all need to work together to combat it, resolve it, and the best way that folks can help us is to share information,” said England.

No arrests have been made in Monday's assault, but detectives received several tips that the boys are students at Waianae High School.

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