Big Island poke shops vandalized - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Big Island poke shops vandalized

KAILUA-KONA, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Big Island business owner is searching for answers after his two popular restaurants were vandalized. Da Poke Shack in Kona came in first on Yelp's list of the top 100 places to eat in America last year. The restaurant opened in 2010. Earlier this month, a vandal shattered the glass door and windows at both of his shops on the same night.

"Just completely smashed. If it wasn't for the tint that was on the glass, it would have just been completely on the ground. There's just big holes," said owner Albert Vasconcelles.

Vasconcelles' brother was cleaning up inside the Alii Drive eatery late at night on March 3. He caught a glimpse of the culprit who was wearing a dark hoodie and jeans.

"I immediately heard another boom, boom. That's when I turned and seen the person hitting the windows with a baseball bat. I yelled at him and he hit the window two more times," said Ronnie Vasconcelles.

Ronnie Vasconcelles said the man ran down the street and got into the passenger side of a truck that sped off. The next morning, employees discovered similar damage at the other restaurant in Honaunau nearly 15 miles away. Albert Vasconcelles said he is not sure why the vandal targeted his businesses.

"I would have to say it's probably the same guy," he said. "I tell my workers don't point the finger, we don't have the proof or anything like that, but it's just funny when customers come in, our usuals, and the first thing out of their mouth is, 'You guys have competition?'"

Police have now opened criminal property damage investigations. Vasconcelles said he is stepping up security at both of his restaurants.

"It kind of really bums me out if you're going to go do that instead of just coming to me and talking to me," he said.

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