Rash of burglaries impacting Leeward Oahu community

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

MAKAKILO (KHNL) - A rash of burglaries is impacting a Leeward Oahu community. On one Makakilo street alone, there have been four break-ins reported in the past six months. The latest has left four young teachers searching for their stolen belongings and answers to this crime spree.

The four high school teachers just moved in together about a month ago. They all came here right out of college, hoping for an exciting start to their teaching careers. But thieves have spoiled that.

Four teachers -- Pei Fen Hu, Carol Nu, Jessie Stone and Bailey Lojek all want their stuff back. They also want to feel safe in their own place again.

"It's devastating, it's really difficult to feel like you don't have a safe place anymore, when you come home, it's supposed to be a safe place and we just don't have that anymore," Lojek said.

Earlier this week, police say thieves broke into a window and a sliding door. Among other things, they stole laptops, a digital camera and an external hardrive from their rooms. The loss not only hurts these teachers, but it hurts the kids they teach as well.

"I want them to think about the kids that they're harming from this because there is a lot of things we can do with this technology and now that is taken away from me," Hu said.

They feel burned, after thieves leave a mark. Thousands of dollars in items are gone, but what hurts more is losing sentimental items like a necklace Pei Fen Hu got from her aunt. She's had it since the second grade.

"We're struggling with homesickness, we're struggling with having to teach, we're struggling with everything and this is just the last thing that we needed," Wu said.

But they're prepared in case thieves strike again.

"Two of the roommates went to home depot and got all the locks for the windows, a stick to keep on the sliding door, so you can't open it and then we talked to our landlord and he's also getting a security system in place and just locks and bolts on all the gates," Stone said.

It's a reminder to all who live in that area to take extra precautions towards keeping their homes safe from thieves.

"There's somebody out there who doesn't care about me, whose looking through my personal files and going through everything that is who I am," Wu said.

The teachers have filed a police report. They say the thieves have left behind numerous clues, including fingerprints.