Kailua business owners concerned over increase in crime

Kailua business owners concerned over increase in crime 6pm

KAILUA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Kailua businesses are growing more concerned over the recent increase in crime. And the targeted stores aren't the typical places you'd think thieves would hit.

There have been 30 break-ins, burglaries or thefts in the past 30 days within a half mile of Kailua Square on Uluniu Street. Various businesses are among those that have been hit. If you look at the side doors at Kailua Square many have been broken or tampered with.

The Century 21 office was burglarized last week and had blank checks stolen which have since been cancelled.

The Al Phillips Dry Cleaner also had a safe broken into and the camera DVR with security images stolen. The owner suspects a former employee may be responsible for that break-in.

The Oahu Glass pipe shop has been hit twice. The first time a safe was stolen and again the camera's DVR. The owners hired an alarm company only to be hit again. An employee says the burglar appears to know what he's doing bringing tools and cutting necessary alarm lines.

"I think the community is under siege," said Virginia Carnohan, A Summer Place Owner.

At Christmas the co-owner of the Baci Bistro had his car broken into. Then the suspect assaulted and mugged him in the garage. That was at 3:00 in the afternoon.

Owners say the crimes are having a ripple effect.

"It is impacting us because my insurance will go up. It creates a lot of work. It creates a lot of stress. You're worried everyday when you come in," said Carnohan.

Virginia Carnohan has had her gift shop seven and a half years, but last week bought cameras and a new alarm system after repeated attempts by thieves to pry open her side and front doors.

It's all in the area where two homeless people have been killed.

She and others want more police patrols in the area.

"Drive around and maybe just flash their lights in some of the darker areas. It would probably help," said Carnohan.

"There has been such a high percentage of the small businesses being broken into or attempted robberies that I would call it a rash," said Jan Cook, Happiness Hawaii Owner, which is also located in Kailua Square. "It doesn't look like the trend is going in the right direction to make anyone happy."

Police say they have increased patrols and have a team dedicated to looking into property crimes. They have a person in mind who might be responsible, although no one has been arrested.

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