Kaneohe Business Warns Others About Cash Scam

Krissy Wannomae
Krissy Wannomae

KANEOHE (KHNL) -- With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, business owners say it's easy to get distracted. That's when many thieves see opportunities to score.

Now, a Kaneohe restaurant issues a warning after it falls victim to a scam.

Between taking orders and catching calls, there's not a moment to relax during the lunch rush at KJ's Local Grindz.

"We always have a line to the door. Everyone likes the fried chicken," Krissy Wannomae, owner, said. "So it gets pretty busy."

But workers say they're staying on their toes, after a customer pulled a fast one on them Sunday.

A man hands over a $100 bill for a soda. Surveillance video shows him reaching into his left pocket, as the cashier prepares his change.

"As soon as he got the change, his hand came out of his pocket with $1 bills. He switched the $20s, stuck the $20s in his pocket," Wannomae said. "Three seconds later, turned around back to her and said, 'This is all you gave me.'"

She says her cashier eventually gives more money, and later realizes the register is short about $60.

"You're always taught that the customer is right, the customer is right. So you give them the benefit of the doubt," Wannomae said. "The reason why like I get so mad is because of my mom, because she works so hard. This is her dream."

Now, the popular eatery, known for its chicken, is crying foul. As the holiday season heats up and cash transactions increase, it has a warning for fellow business owners.

"I have to make it a point to tell everybody, you know, so they can be aware," Wannomae said.

So this type of scam 'grindz' to a halt.

KJ's owners say other businesses in that shopping center report the same scam happening to them.

If you have any information about this case, call Honolulu police.