For this Maui shop, the smash-and-grab was bad but what’s worse is the damage left behind
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - On Wednesday at around 3 a.m., Hi-Tech Surf Sports owner owner Kim Ball woke to a phone call.
“I thought, ‘Oh it’s just a random call’ and I blocked the number,” he said.
But that call was from security, alerting him that there was a break-in at his shop in Paia along Baldwin Avenue.
It’s one of his five locations on Maui.
Between 2 and 3 a.m., a suspect threw two rocks at his storefront’s window. He waited for it it to crumble before crawling through the shattered glass.
Once inside, the shirtless suspect, who had his face covered, scrambled to grab whatever he could.
Ball said the man got away with a couple of skateboards, some hats, T-shirts, sunglasses and some bags.
He estimates the value of the stolen goods at a couple thousand dollars, but worries it’ll cost him more to fix the mess left behind.
“The damage is way worse. We’d rather just give him the product than have to replace that thermo-pane window. It’s an eight to 10-week process from the mainland, and so we’re gonna have plywood windows for Christmas. so that’s kind of a bummer,” Ball said.
“You can’t sleep at night, really, ‘cuz you never know when that next call is gonna come,” he added.
Thieves targeted his Kihei store before in 2017, and twice this year. But the most damaging and brazen crime was in 2021, when a truck drove through the store and narrowly missed an employee.
The driver then backed up, and rammed forward again.
The truck’s driver, Kekoa Kinimaka, pleaded not guilty to criminal property damage and is still awaiting trial.
Ball says this latest smash-and-grab won’t stop him from doing what he loves.
“You know, we’ve been in business 40 years so it doesn’t shake me as much as you think. We have great community support and always have, so we’re not gonna let a couple bad eggs spoil what we do. We’re still gonna support the community,” Ball said.
He and his staff are preparing to be at a surf competition out in Ho’okipa this weekend.
Meanwhile, he shared this simple message to the thief: “Come in the store when we’re open, during opening hours.”
To the public, he asks, “If anybody knows who that might be call CrimeStoppers.” Maui police can also be reached at (808) 244-6400.
Ball says he has a good security system in place, but plans to beef it up and add metal bars to his windows to help deter crime.
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