Kalihi Valley residents: Uptick in crime linked to parking woes

Kalihi Valley residents: Uptick in crime linked to parking woes

KALIHI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Kalihi Valley residents are raising the alarm about an uptick in crime in the neighborhood, and say a parking conflict with a nearby housing complex could be at the root of the problem.

When people are off at work, street parking on Wilson and Jennie streets in Kalihi Valley is wide open. That changes dramatically when the work day ends.

"I think we've always tried to be really good neighbors but it's become a point where we just have no place to park," Kalihi Valley resident Mona Wood-Sword said.

She and other residents complain that residents of the Kalihi Valley Homes public housing complex, across Likelike Highway, are using their streets as a parking lot. And they believe some of the people who take up the stalls are doing more than parking their cars.

The homeowners say they're tired of seeing some people sleeping in their vehicles. loitering and littering on the streets and sidewalks.

They also believe the situation contributes to crime.

From January to June there were 11 burglaries, 19 cases of property damage, and 38 thefts in Kalihi Valley.

Wood-Sword's car was broken into. Her 89-year-old neighbor's home was nearly burglarized.

"A guy crashed her window. He tried to break in," she said. 'Luckily, all of us kind of watch each other. Our neighbor heard that. He came running out. He saw the guy trying to climb through a window and the guy ran away."

Many Kalihi Valley residents are now taking extreme measures to curtail the parking, including lining their streets with obstacles. "People use anything like rubbish cans, plants, whatever they can find just to reserve a stall," resident Clyde Chee said.

Residents want the Hawaii Public Housing Authority to do something to reduce the number of residents from the Kalihi Valley Homes complex who park in the neighborhood.

"The Hawaii Public Housing Authority has such stringent standards on the vehicles that can park inside their property that these persons will park outside and then walk across the street," Kalihi Valley Neighborhood Board Chairman Chris Wong said.

He added, "We're working with HPD to increase patrols through the area to cite illegal vehicles, to get the vagrants and those loitering out of the area."

Wood-Sword said many residents are so fed up they'd be willing to pay for the street parking outside their homes.

Copyright 2016 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.