HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Even before a bank robber hit Bank of Hawaii's branch at 101 N. King St., Chinatown community leaders have been calling for more police presence in their neighborhood.
"Most people don't want to venture out at night in certain areas" of Chinatown, said Chu Lan Shubert-Kwock, a member of the Chinatown Neighborhood Board and president of the Chinatown Business and Community Association. "Businesses have been plagued by drug dealers, Illegal gambling, robbery ... and purse snatchings."
Saturday's bank robbery occurred around 10:15 a.m.
Police said the suspect simply handed a teller a note and made off with the money. It happened a couple of blocks away where a woman was shot and killed in an illegal gaming room back in September.
According to police records, the quarter-mile area surrounding Bank of Hawaii's Chinatown branch has seen a spike in crime during the most recent quarter.
The HPD's crime mapping data shows that since September, there have been seven reports of assaults. That compares with zero in the previous three months. Meanwhile, thefts are up more than 60 percent to 74.
Kwock said police don't have enough of a presence near North King Street and that's why crimes are up there.
'We need more security. We need police to be more visible and have a more regular routine and program for Chinatown," she said.
As for Saturday's bank robbery, the suspect remains at large.