Manoa burglary victim questions why officer didn't stop suspects

Published: Jan. 12, 2015 at 10:27 PM HST|Updated: Jan. 13, 2015 at 4:33 PM HST
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Sam Haruo
Sam Haruo

MANOA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Restaurant managers in Manoa are frustrated, not only because of a recent burglary, but because they say the responding officer didn't do enough to stop the suspects.

The crooks pried open the front door. The management at Serg's Mexican Kitchen says the alarm did exactly what it was supposed to. It alerted police. And even though the officer showed up with the thieves still inside no arrests were made.

Surveillance video shows the two men walk up to the front of the building. That's when the suspects noticed the cameras and the two burglars tried to move some of the cameras up and out of view. Then they used crowbars to open the front door.

Once inside they went to work trying to pry open the cash register, first with the crowbar then with a screwdriver.

They also went into Wings and Things restaurant which is connected and tried to open that register as well.

"They actually disconnected the whole register and took it back next door and they tried to work on it over there," said Sam Haruo, Serg's Mexican Kitchen General Manager.

The burglars broke in at 11:55 Saturday night. The alarm company alerted police. By 12:11 am the first officer drove up.

"She looked like she came into the restaurant with high beams on already. Her headlights were shining right here, bright as day, right to the door. The burglar was right in the kitchen still trying to break open the register," said Haruo.

Meanwhile the officer didn't get out of the car until 42 seconds after arriving.

"She even said she saw the burglar come out of the door and take off," said Haruo. "Something should have been done. She could have said something and tried to stop the guy."

In a separate incident the Asia Manoa Chinese Restaurant across the street was also broken into recently. The window crooks smashed is still boarded up.

"Burglaries have been happening in Manoa Valley within the past couple of months consecutively and you see the burglar walk right out of the door and you do nothing. It's very frustrating," said Haruo.

Today Honolulu Police personnel say they weren't able to speak with the officer involved, but the police report does say she saw a man run out of the restaurant and then radioed other officers. A police supervisor tried to meet with the restaurant management yesterday, but they weren't available. HPD is reviewing the incident.

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