Shoppers beware: Thieves out in force as mall crowds surge

(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

EAST HONOLULU, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - As sales go up this holiday shopping season, so does the crime.

And that's spurring police to remind shoppers to take precautions, especially when they're carrying valuables.

Sgt. Chris Kim, of CrimeStoppers Hawaii, says you shouldn't leave your valuables visible in your vehicle and you should always be aware of your surroundings.

He added, "If you you're gonna do a lot of shopping, you might want to refrain from loading items into the trunk because there may be people actually watching you do this."

Pearlridge Center is offering extra services this year to make sure people feel safe.

"If they require an escort to their car, or they have a lot of packages, they can call our security number which is on all of directories or our website and get an escort from security," Pearlridge Center General Manager Fred Paine said.

Paine said the mall has also hired extra uniformed and plainclothes security guards and has upped the number of security cameras.

Ahead of Black Friday sales, shoppers were taking the advice from authorities to heart.

"From now on, whatever I'm shopping for, whatever I'm buying, I'm gonna cover everything in the car," said holiday shopper Lori Umayam. "Make sure you give no one the ability to break into your car and things out of your car."

Shopper Ann Kiyabu said she tries to make one trip to her car when shopping.

"You don't know who's watching and people are walking around checking door handles," she said.

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