Eight burglaries occurred in the Keaukaha around the time residents were evacuating the area for Saturday’s tsunami warning, victims and police say.
Police Capt. Robert Wagner said police are following up on some leads, but at this time haven’t identified any suspects.
Two burglary victims say that the thief or thieves focused on undergarments such as panties and bras, bikinis, sex toys, and costume jewelry. A bike was the most expensive item stolen from one of the homes. A bathroom mirror was pried off a wall, and the victim thinks the thief or thieves thought it was a medicine cabinet.
In another home, the thief or thieves rejected electronics, cash, and a case of silverware found in a closet, but took costume jewelry, a vibrator, handcuffs, a baseball bat and a knife.
“It appears that whoever did the burglaries probably did them all,” said Wagner, refusing to state the contents stolen from the six other burglaries. “It was very similar for every burglary,” he did say.
Police and victims found muddy hand and footprints on at least one of the homes, according to a 43-year-old victim. Fingerprints were also detected, the victim said.
The victims are determined to track down the thief or thieves and are mobilizing the Keaukaha community to do so. They are also frustrated with the County of Hawaii that police cleared out their neighborhood but didn’t patrol it.
“I’m frustrated, angry, and incredibly disappointed in the people who decide the hows and when of mandatory evacuation, because our neighborhood was left completely vulnerable,” said a 39-year-old victim. “I am not a trained civil servant, but even I know how to prevent burglaries of this nature — active police presence. It is not the officers themselves that I am angry at, it is the higher ups. Civil Defense, the police chief, the mayor, what were you people thinking? Are you willing to pay for my lost items? This was completely avoidable. If you were willing to keep the staff on the clock a little longer, patrol a wider area and coordinate a whole lot better. We depend on you and now I have lost faith, a true shame.”
“It is inconceivable that the news media and Civil Defense were creating so much hooha over a tsunami that hit Alaska at four inches and our closed buoy at one foot and they would still be calling in the islands at three to six feet, when they know darn well that dispersement always causes it to fizzle at a smaller size,” the 43-year-old victim said. “If they hadn’t had done so, we would not have left our home, which as broken into some time in the night after the all clear was given and police were relieved for the evening. At that point, we had no police supervision of the area and so many of our homes were taken advantage of, trashed and stolen from. I give the department for handling the evacuation so well, but where was the security following. Why they stole all my bras and underwear is beyond me. Do you know how hard it is to find good fitting bras? It’s not that they stole very much of anything of value… it’s that they stole items full of memorabilia that are irreplaceable.”
Meanwhile, because these burglaries were committed during a Civil Defense warning, the thief or thieves face a class A felony when caught.
The crime is referred to as “burglary of a dwelling during a Civil Defense emergency or disaster relief.”
Anyone with information about these burglaries should call police Det. James Correa at (808)961-2289.