Thieves strike new business on the morning of grand opening

‘This was intended for joy and happiness and aloha.’

Thieves strike new business on the morning of grand opening
Epic Aloha offers customers the chance to take the ideal Hawaii-themed selfie. (Image: Hawaii News Now) (Source: Hawaii News Now)

WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Surveillance cameras captured two people burglarizing a business about to celebrate its grand opening.

The incident happened just after 4:00 a.m. Monday morning at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

But the owners of Epic Aloha weren’t about to delay their launch.

Matt Baysinger, CEO and co-founder of Swell Sparks, the company that created Epic Aloha said, “In the grand scheme of things we’re not going to let this bring us down too much."

"We’re still excited to point people towards sustainability,” Baysinger said.

The space is basically a place for pictures with loudly decorated rooms designed to help capture that perfect shot for Instagram or the ideal Hawaii-themed selfie.

There are no real products inside and that’s why Baysinger was surprised when he showed up this morning.

“At 4:15 a.m. in the morning you see a guy and a gal come in, and they actually had to break into a lock in order to get in here,” Baysinger said.

The two thieves rummaged through just about every room and attempted to pull several pieces of artwork from the walls.

“It’s kind of weird to watch people using the museum for something so different than what it was intended for. This was intended for joy and happiness and aloha," Baysinger said.

They were able to rip off several skateboard decks that had been custom made for the business from recycled fishing nets and other garbage collected from the ocean.

It’s part of a partnership with Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii, where a dollar from every ticket sold will be contributed to the organization.

The biggest loss was the business’s sound system and some other electronics.

The total amount in stolen property and damage to the business was around $2,000.

If you recognize the man and woman pictured in the surveillance video, call Honolulu Crime Stoppers at (808) 955-8300.

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