WAIALUA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Families are alarmed by a rash of crimes on Oahu's North Shore this past weekend.
Police are investigating whether three arson cases in the Sunset Beach area are tied to several car break-ins in Waialua.
Jamie Swim discovered early Saturday morning that her baby stroller and other valuables were stolen from her minivan. The vehicle was parked right outside her bedroom window.
"My husband left for work at about 5 and noticed that the trunk was open, and the stroller and some money that was in the cupholder was missing," said the Waialua resident.
Swim bought the van just a few days ago to replace her car that was stolen from her home along Crozier Drive last month. During the theft in February, she lost her stereo and $2,000 worth of her artwork that she was planning to sell. Police recovered the abandoned vehicle a couple of miles away.
"They crashed it. They did whatever they could. We couldn't even drive it home," Swim said.
There were three other vehicle break-ins along Crozier Drive that same night. An Acura had its rear windshield smashed and a shopping bag with a sweatshirt was taken. The owner said the vehicle was also stolen six months ago and later found in Waipahu.
"I think people are just on high alert and they feel extremely violated. They don't feel safe anymore," Swim said.
Swim said her stolen baby stroller fell out of the crooks' truck when a neighbor tried to chase them after spotting them breaking into another vehicle on the street.
"They had a fire extinguisher and sprayed it at him and threw the fire extinguisher at him so he wouldn't chase them anymore," said Swim.
Police are looking into whether there is any connection between the Waialua thefts and the three North Shore vehicle fires. Arson has been used as a diversion in prior cases. Frustrated residents are hoping for more police presence in the community.
"Not only is our police department busy with tourists, but they need more time for patrol and just to be out and be seen in our neighborhoods," said North Shore Neighborhood Board member Jack Reid.
North Shore residents are invited to a neighborhood watch potluck on April 2 at 3 p.m. at Aweoweo Beach Park.