HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - An air conditioner is gone from Helena's Hawaiian Food in Kalihi and another one would be missing, but the criminals were caught red-handed.
Pictures taken by a neighboring business show the thieves preparing to haul off an air conditioning unit from the restaurant Sunday afternoon.
The images show faces and the truck's license plate number and the man who took the photos managed to chase the crooks away.
Helena's is closed on weekends, but Craig Katsuyoshi, the restaurant's owner, is usually there to do prep work. However, he wasn't in when the attempted theft happened, but is grateful the criminals were stopped.
"another business owner in our building came out and just sort of confronted them and asked them, 'what are you guys doing?," Katsuyoshi described. "They said, 'Well we're just, the owner said that we can have these units, we are just taking them away for them.'"
That was a lie and the thieves put the unit on the ground and took off. However, it turns out another one of the restaurant's AC units had been ripped out of the wall earlier in the morning.
"The criminals nowadays they are getting so brazen and they are so smart now that they are doing their acts in broad daylight," Katsuyoshi said. "They are pretending just like they are working and in actuality, they are stealing things."
It'll cost about $7,000 to replace both units. Helena's plans to get stronger bolts and install security cameras to keep the crooks away for good.
"I'm angry, it's going to cost me money, we've been violated, but I know that they are out there and they are doing this to other people, other innocent people who are hard working people, just for their own gain," Katsuyoshi said.
Authorities have not made any arrests in connection with the incidents. Anyone with information is asked to call police.