KAILUA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Honolulu Police spent more than seven hours at the house near the corner of Hamakua Drive and Keolu Drive in Kailua yesterday thinking a burglar was still inside. In reality the suspect was out having a field day racking up thousands of dollars on stolen credit cards.
"This is the doorway to the upstairs and apparently they were trying to get the safe out, and put holes in the wall and marks on the wall," said Gloria Williaford, as she took us on a tour of her disheveled house. "Then you come upstairs and everything is just totally messed up. Trashed, just totally trashed. It's just devastating. I feel so violated."
Fumigation workers thought the crooks were still inside Williaford's house when they arrived at 10:00 Tuesday morning. Police were called and the heavily armed SWAT team responded.
But when officers were getting ready to charge in, the thief was charging stolen credit cards. The first illegal purchase was made at 2:00 pm. The afternoon shopping spree went on as the thief hit various gas stations and bought prepaid cell phones. The crook used the victims various credit and debit cards.
The spending continued all night until 6:00 Wednesday morning when the homeowner was allowed back in and realized what was going on.
"I feel so sorry for the inconvenience for my neighbors and the policeman that had to stand in the hot sun for the seven and a half hours, and at the same time we're thinking someone was in the house but yet they're out using my cards already," said Williaford.
She's not blaming or second guessing police at all.
"People were complaining about the overreactions, but they thought, we all thought there was still a human in the house. Their primary concern was for human life," said Williaford.
Making it all worse, her husband of 42 years passed away two months ago. She had just finished updating her bank accounts only to do it all again.
"You just can't imagine the emotional stress involved until you've been there and done that," said Williaford. "They have all of my personal information from the safe, passports, birth certificates, marriage certificates, family death certificates."
Thieves also took her stocks and bond certificates, jewelry, electronics and more.
Her daughter, son in law and two grandchildren also live in the house and are taking inventory of their stolen belongings as well.
"Just trying to explain it to an almost two year old and four year old what's happened, you try to just protect them from the reality of what happened," said Sharon Walsh, daughter and homeowner. "Whatever happens we're going to be okay. It's just things."
"My main concern is our family is okay. We're alive, we're well, we will be okay. God has taken care of us this far, he's going to continue doing it," said Williaford.
Police are following up on leads and maybe the suspect or suspects had their picture taken during one of the purchases. But at this point there is no suspect description.