Thieves break into Nanakuli widow's home

Thieves break into Nanakuli widow's home
Moani Nahulu-Mahelona (center) in her Nanakuli home
Moani Nahulu-Mahelona (center) in her Nanakuli home
Phillip-John Mahelona (in blue shirt)
Phillip-John Mahelona (in blue shirt)

NANAKULI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - "We always thought you had a security system in the house, and I did. I had my husband."

Moani Nahulu-Mahelona and Phillip-John Mahelona met when they were 14 years old and were married for nearly 23 years. Along the way, they raised three sons.

Phillip-John, known by the nickname "Mahe," died suddenly of a massive heart attack Aug. 15 as he and his family watched his oldest son play his first varsity football game for Kapolei High School. He was only 44 years old.

Sometime Wednesday morning, thieves broke into their Nanakuli home.

"Obviously they know my husband is not here any more," said Moani. "I think they took our vulnerability and turned it into an opportunity for them."

The burglars removed jalousies from the window of the bedroom where the boys sleep. They ransacked the boys' room, taking an Xbox and games that they got just last Christmas.

Then the thieves went into the master bedroom, stealing jewelry from the dressers, along with money.

"I had a small safe, a portable safe, that I kept the money that we had collected from my husband's funeral in there, and it was a substantial amount," she said.

It was cash that was supposed to help the family make up some of Mahe's lost income as an electrician.

Moani would like the thieves to return everything, but what she'd really like to have back is a reminder of the man that she loved and so recently lost.

"Our wedding bands," she said, choking back tears. The two rings were engraved with their names.

"I know its material things, but its the things that my husband gave me. It's things that was left for my children."

Anyone with information is being asked to call Honolulu Police.

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