East Oahu neighborhood uses new website to help combat crime

Neighborhood Watch Website
Published: Jul. 29, 2016 at 11:08 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 30, 2016 at 2:03 AM HST
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(surveillance video: Justin Scrofani)
(surveillance video: Justin Scrofani)
(surveillance video: Justin Scrofani)
(surveillance video: Justin Scrofani)
(image: Nextdoor)
(image: Nextdoor)

HAWAII KAI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Surveillance video taken last week Sunday of a man breaking into a car at Mariner's Ridge in Hawaii Kai has community members taking action.

Justin Scrofani shot the video and says he noticed a spike in car break-ins recently.

"A lot of it has been happening lately. In the last couple of weeks, a lot of the neighbors have been noticing a lot more break-ins in the cars, couple cars got stolen in fact," Scrofani said.

In an effort to help combat the crime, Scrofani posted the video to a website called "Nextdoor." It's social networking site that helps neighbors connect with one another.

"Nextdoor can act as a virtual neighborhood watch for neighborhoods. When you have a lot of neighbors on Nextdoor, they're going to talk about concerns in the neighborhood and if there's a rash of break-ins, Nextdoor is a great place for neighbors to come together, share information they know, collect the information, and turn it over to the police," said Kelsey Grady, Head of Communications at Nextdoor.

That's exactly what Scrofani did at Tuesday's Hawaii Kai neighborhood board meeting.

One Mariner's Ridge resident doesn't personally know anyone who had their car broken into, but was alerted of the crimes through the website.

"It's connected to your email address so you end up getting messages concerning things and that's how I heard about the break-ins," Bill Helm said.

The company says 107,000 neighborhoods across the United States use Nextdoor and 210 neighborhoods across Hawaii are registered.

Since the meeting, Scrofani and Helm said they have noticed a larger police presence in the area and believe the new website is helping.

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