Kailua residents of burglarized home go online to fight a rise in crime

Kailua residents of burglarized home go online to fight a rise in crime

KAILUA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Sometime on Saturday afternoon, burglars broke into a home in the Olomana subdivision of Kailua. The homeowners said the break-in is not an isolated case. And it also spurred them to take action that they hope will spread.

The home is similar to others along Uluhao Street, where nearly al the houses have unfenced front yards and open carports. The homeowners had left at about 2 p.m. Saturday.

"My next-door neighbor probably came home about three o'clock, and he was out there in the yard for a while and he said he hadn't noticed anything by the time he came home. And when we came home at six, it had happened," said Cory Mehau.

"It didn't even dawn on me until I walked into the house, and the first thing I look at was at the top of my television that sits up high, and our Wii was gone," said Mehau's wife, Jennifer. "And it was only then that I realized that we had been broken into."

The break-in came after the Mehaus had had conversations with their business clients about how petty crime is on the rise -- not just in Olomana, but all over Kailua town.

"Everyone's saying, yeah, we gotta do something in Kailua because it's not the place that five and ten years ago that we all wanted to bring our kids back to," said resident Kulia Petzholdt.

"If you spoke to five people in Kailua, four of them would have a story to tell, like they told me today, about some type of home invasion, their business getting broken into, their car getting broken into," said Jennifer Mehau.

Cory Mehau said the increase in crime has come while Kailua has been in the news for other reasons, including the possible sale of Kaneohe Ranch land in Kailua town and the building of a new Target store. "Vacation rentals. Kayaking on the beaches. All these kinds of things are big issues, but behind the scenes, it's all the break-ins, the home invasions."

The break-in at her own home pushed Jennifer Mehau to launch a new Facebook page, Hono Kailua, or Repair Kailua. She said it's about the safety of her town, an online place where residents can exchange ideas and keep an eye out for each other.

"We'd like to look at it more as encouraging safety by signing up on our page, by getting to know your neighbor," she said.

Cory Mehau also had a message for the burglars who broke into their home. "You've seen fit to make the decision to offend my family. And that's wrong."

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