CHINATOWN (HawaiiNewsNow) - A man who posed as a Queen's Medical Center employee and was caught on camera stealing jewelry from a small business has been arrested, Honolulu police said.
Police arrested the suspect, 38-year-old Jason Takaki, on Wednesday afternoon on one count of fourth-degree theft in connection with the incident on May 28.
Retailers say the man is responsible for stealing thousands of dollars' worth of jewels from several shops.
Roberta Oaks, owner of Roberta Oaks on North Pauahi Street, said a man walked into her store on Memorial Day around 1:00 p.m. behaving suspiciously, but his attire made her think twice.
"I noticed he was wearing a Queen's hospital badge," said Oaks. "So I immediately just tried to make conversation, asking him if he worked at the hospital, which he said yes. Which kind of gave me trust in him."
Oaks says her back was turned when he slipped his hand into the jewel case and stole a $100 ring.
Oaks said once she reviewed the surveillance footage and confirmed the theft, she called the police and posted it on social media.
"I had someone who was his coworker at Queen's confirm that he had worked at the hospital, just for a day, and was let go for stealing from the cash register at the gift shop. So that's how he's got his badge," Oaks said.
Oaks said she was also alerted from a store owner on Kapahulu Avenue.
"The day after he stole the ring in my store, he went into Bailey's Aloha Shirts on Kapahulu and they took photos of him. They recognized him from my post. He was wearing the stolen ring," Oaks said. "Then two days after that, he hit my neighbor Echo & Atlas around the corner."
Echo & Atlas owner Julianne McGee said he stole nearly $5,000 worth of jewelry from her store.
McGee said she tracked the suspect down by phone and he admitted to stealing from both stores.
"He said that he was really sorry and it was the temptation that took a hold of him," McGee said.
Though he has finally been arrested, Oaks couldn't understand why it took so long.
"Considering that we do know his name and he's been identified, (and) there's photos of him with the stolen merchandise," she said.
HPD says violent crimes take precedence over property crimes.
Data from the FBI shows out of about 30,000 property crimes in 2011 in Honolulu, only 6 percent were solved.
HPD says murders, robberies and sex crimes are looked at first because they pose a bigger danger to the public.
The store owners fear it will only get worse.
"When they give you those reasons, if there was violence involved then it would be taken care of. We don't want to have to go through that," Oaks said.