Waikiki shoplifter ignores surveillance cams; video on YouTube - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Waikiki shoplifter ignores surveillance cams; video now on YouTube

Theft suspect caught on Angels By The Sea security camera Theft suspect caught on Angels By The Sea security camera
Nina Thai Nina Thai
Naomi Ito Naomi Ito
WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) -

A shoplifter brazenly stole more than $2,000 worth of merchandise from a small clothing and jewelry shop in a Waikiki hotel. The whole theft was recorded on surveillance cameras, and the video has been posted online in an effort to nab the suspect.

The theft happened Nov. 5 at the Angels By The Sea store at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Hotel. The surveillance video clearly shows a woman looking through some of the clothing. She then removes the clothing from its hanger, rolls it up, and casually puts it in a large bag.

The store's owner said the woman told the sales clerk a story. According to store owner and designer Nina Thai, the woman claimed to be a jewelry designer from Kauai. "'I make a lot of jewelry, so I want to have time to take a look so leave me alone,'" Thai said the woman told the clerk.

The store usually has two or three clerks on duty, but Thai said the store was short-handed that day, and only had one clerk at the time. And when that lone clerk was busy with a customer, the shoplifter helped herself to the jewelry.

The store's management said they discovered the theft because the shoplifter had moved a lot of the jewelry from their usual places. "Because we stay in here more than at home," said Thai. "So we remember every single item."

And then they saw the surveillance video, and watched as the woman took earrings, necklaces, pendants, leggings and tops. The haul was the by far the biggest theft in the store's three-year history.

"I was so shocked. And I felt so violated," said store manager Naomi Ito.

What's surprising is that the store makes it obvious to customers that there are surveillance cameras. The shoplifter went ahead anyway.

Store owner Thai decided to edit together the footage from the surveillance cameras and turn it into a video that she posted on YouTube and the store's Facebook page.

Meanwhile, Thai and Ito said they will still put a premium on customer service. But there will be some changes. "Obviously, we're using the camera more. And obviously, we're going to have employee training, too."

The store is offering a $500 reward for information that leads to an arrest or the return of the merchandise. Anyone with information is being asked to call police.

Related link: Angels By The Sea surveillance video on YouTube

Copyright 2012 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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