RadioShack workers hustle to open store after smash & grab burglary

Walter Whitten
Walter Whitten
Chyann Tanabe-Yeager
Chyann Tanabe-Yeager

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

WAIANAE (HawaiiNewsNow) - Black Friday was nearly ruined for a retail store at Waianae Mall after thieves crashed their vehicle through the store-front and stole merchandise at about 2:30 AM.

After spending the past week preparing the store for one of the biggest shopping days of the year, RadioShack workers were not about to let the smash-and-grab burglars ruin it for them.

"How can people just do those kinds of things?" Chyann Tanabe-Yeager, customer, said. "Then to steal, I don't know what they took, but that's crazy."

There was shattered glass everywhere, along with some damaged merchandise and display cases.

"Oh, Lord, I wanted to cry," Walter Whitten, store manager, said. "I mean, you know, we did so much for the store in anticipation of Black Friday. We basically have fun up here in the store, so we sort of took it personal."

Employees rushed in, and managed to clean up the mess and get the store opened on time at 5 AM.

"They're proud of their store. They take ownership of the store," Whitten said. "They did it not to disappoint the community themselves. They just jumped right in and said, hey, we're open for business."

There was a steady stream of holiday shoppers coming in, as a carpenter took measurements for a new store-front outside. The manager says the thieves didn't get away with much.

"I'm going to have to be very discreet. I haven't done a complete inventory, but the one item they took is virtually useless," Whitten said. "It's a high-end, but it's virtually useless because it was a demo."

This isn't the first time a smash-and-grab break-in has happened at the store. Whitten says another incident happened six months ago involving a Jeep.

"The damage wasn't as extensive as it is now," he said. "Again, they took something that's useless."

Store officials and customers alike say they don't appreciate the black mark the thieves left on their community.

"Just by these things happening in Waianae, it's another bad thing, giving us another bad name," Tanabe-Yeager said. "That sucks."

We're told a mall security guard got a glimpse of the suspects' vehicle, and described it as a light-colored van with no license plates.

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