Oahu small businesses hit by thieves days before Christmas - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Oahu small businesses hit by thieves days before Christmas

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Surveillance video shows a crime trend on Oahu that's hurting small family-owned businesses. It's unclear if these restaurant rip-offs are connected, but owners say the thieves knew what they were doing.

With Christmas right around the corner, the restaurant owners are trying to stay positive and are thankful no one was hurt. But for any small business, a burglary can be shattering, especially right before the holidays.

On Sunday morning at Los Chaparros Mexican Restaurant on South Beretania Street, surveillance video showed a man walking across the empty parking lot. He sets off the motion-censored light, then crouches down next to the wall. He waits until the light turns off before making his move.

He breaks the door lock to get in, and once inside, another camera shows he's wearing black gloves with something white tied around his face.

The alarm is going off the entire time, but the thief is in and out in less than a minute, grabbing hundreds of dollars before cops arrive.

"I just want to tell everybody if they see somebody suspicious, please call 911,” said Mario Barron, owner of Los Chaparros Mexican Restaurant. “Don't confront, call the police and try to be safe this holidays."

It's at least the fourth Oahu restaurant hit in the past eight days.    

The Shack Hawaii Kai was also burglarized. And at a Chinese restaurant in the same mall, someone smashed the door, but couldn't get in. And right next door to that, at Cha Cha Cha Salsaria, owner Angie Runyan says a thief got in and took hundreds of dollars in donations meant for a friend in the hospital.

"They just shattered it and walked through the broken glass so the alarm didn't even go off," Runyan said.

Runyan says the thief tried to take a safe, but was unsuccessful. But she lost computers and iPads as well, and she would have had surveillance video too, but the recorder was stolen.    

"I was sad, I was mad, I was hurt, I don't know,” she said. Nothing like that has ever happened to me before."

If you know anything about any of these cases that can help police out, call CrimeStoppers at (808) 955-8300.

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