Viral video captures bold thieves filling carts at Hawaii store and simply walking out the door
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Bold thieves were caught on camera on the Fourth of July at the Home Depot in Iwilei filling their carts with tools and simply walking out the front door.
The viral video sent to HNN shows a pair of masked men in one of the aisles loading up carts with thousands of dollars worth of Milwaukee brand power tools and casually walking out without paying for them.
The witness said the men cut the lock to the cage and stole several items, with employees and customers watching and cameras rolling. He said police were called to the scene, but no report was filed.
A report was subsequently filed, however, HPD confirmed.
On Wednesday, the shelves at Home Depot were restocked and new locks in place. High value items were stored out of reach, but workers say that’s the most they can do and theft is a daily occurrence.
Workers say policy is to call police and not to confront suspects, especially after an incident in April when a Home Depot employee in California was shot dead after an altercation with a shoplifting suspect.
In a statement to HNN, a Home Depot spokesperson said that:
“The safety of our associates and customers is our no. 1 concern. We have security personnel who are specially trained to address shoplifters to reduce the safety risk to our associates and customers. Other associates are directed not to approach a suspected shoplifter as it’s just too dangerous.”
HPD Sgt. Chris Kim of Honolulu Crimestoppers said he was surprised Home Depot did not immediately file a police report.
“The police department can’t act as a representative of the Home Depot because the police department didn’t suffer the loss. So it’s a person, organization, establishment that suffers a loss that actually has to prosecute the case, the officers would be called out there to initiate the case, in effect, an arrest,” he said.
Following news reports, an HPD spokesperson said Wednesday afternoon that Home Depot did contact HPD and a second-degree theft case was opened. No arrests have been made.
Kim says thieves sell the stolen items online at a discount and those who buy them are participating in the crime as well.
“It’s kind of setting precedents for other thieves that are out there that is seeing this, we did see things like this happening on the U.S. mainland, and it’s slowly trickling over here,” he added.
”But now with this video being posted now going viral, that’s very concerning for law enforcement.”
HPD urges employees to report shoplifters, even if they think it’s not worth the time. It’s the only way these suspects can be caught.
Critics say organized retail crime is rising because of Hawaii’s lenient judicial system.
“They’re not getting any repercussions for what they’re doing. The judges are not giving them strict sentencing, or high fines or anything like that,” Tina Yamaki, president of the Retail Merchants of Hawaii.
“They actually tell us when we do go to court, oh, we’ll see you in your stores in a couple of hours.”
Honolulu City Council member Tyler Dos Santos-Tam said it’s time to tight laws on repeat offenders.
“We can’t just let them back out. I mean, someone really has to take responsibility here.”
Kim has this message to thieves: “Just get a job and pay full price like everybody else.”
Watch the video:
Copyright 2023 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.