Businessman frustrated with HPD after shops repeatedly targeted

KAILUA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Over the past week, the owner of Kalapawai Market says his businesses have been the target of three separate incidents.

The latest happened Sunday night, when when a young woman had a gun shoved in her face while a pair of suspected robbers ransacked the store looking for cash.

It happened just after 9 p.m., and the woman behind the counter was about to lock up when two masked men emerged in the doorway.

"These guys walked in guns blazing. They knew exactly what they were doing. This was thought out," said owner Lindsey Dymond.

The woman was forced to sit on the ground at gunpoint while one of the suspects filled his backpack with cash. The other guy headed for the office in search of a safe.

The heist took about two minutes, but the owner worries about the long-term effect it will have on his 22-year-old employee.

"She's not a soldier. She's not a police officer. She didn't sign up for this. She's a barista and a very nice young lady," said Dymond.

Dymond said the robbery was just the latest in a string of violent incidents that have happened at his two Kailua businesses.

Unlike the robbery, he said most times he knows the people involved.

"It's absolutely not a homeless issue. Yes, some of the guys are homeless. What it is is a drug enforcement issue. It's an accountability issue. There's no accountability for these people and they know that," said Dymond.

On Thursday, a man who appeared intoxicated set off an aerial firework at Kalapawai Cafe. The explosion happened just a few yards from where a family with an infant was eating. Dymond said initially police were reluctant to even make a report.

And a week ago Sunday, a busser was attacked when he asked a man cursing at diners to quiet down.

"He actually came into the restaurant and threw a punch at me," said Kai Kirkpatrick.

Kirkpatrick said after multiple calls to police it took 30 minutes for officers to arrive. The suspect wasn't arrested until much later that night when he showed up again looking for another fight.

"He came in and actually tried to hit the owner of the restaurant with a vodka bottle and kicked one of them employees. That's when police finally took it seriously and had me come down here and identify him," said Kirkpatrick.

Hawaii News Now sought comment from HPD, but the agency didn't address the businessowner's claims, only saying an arrest had been made in the fireworks incident as well as the case involving the busser who was assaulted. A spokesman added HPD is increasing patrols in the area.

The suspects in the robbery at Kalapawai Market remain at large.

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