In Kakaako, shop owners grapple with thieves who don’t seem to care they’re on camera

Published: Nov. 4, 2021 at 5:18 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Kakako business owners say they’re grappling with an almost constant stream of criminal activity ― and they’re having to go to new lengths to protect their properties.

Recently, the owner of a Kakaako clinic managed to scare off a would-be thief who was armed with a reciprocating saw as he tried to cut the lock on the front door of her business.

The exchange was caught on a Ring security camera.

The attempted break-in happened just before midnight Monday near the corner of South and Queen streets. “My Ring doorbell alarm woke me up,” said Aure Kraemer, the owner of Hawaii Care Clinic.

Half asleep, she grabbed her phone. She says she was horrified by what she saw.

“I wasn’t even on-site yet my heart was pounding,” Kraemer said. “He had a huge saw and he looked like he meant business.”

Video show the attempted break-in shows it happened in front of multiple witnesses.

The suspect made no attempt to disguise himself. He also didn’t seemed phased by an ambulance crew that had responded to a call right behind him.

On Wednesday morning, Kraemer had a locksmith company put a metal plate on her front door to better protect the lock.

And that’s not all.

“We installed a flood light ring camera,” she said. “It has a siren.”

Kraemer’s only been at the location five months. She says she chose it because it is well lit, there’s a lot of traffic and she thought it would be safe.

“The fact that police headquarters is literally right down the street. And the fire department is right there. To have this kind of activity around this area is mind-blowing,” she said.

The owner of the beauty studio next door believes a lot of the crime is connected to the people camping on the sidewalk. She says stuff getting stolen is only part of the problem.

“It’s threatening our livelihood,” said Liza Neginskaya. “The clients are afraid to come here.”

She said the campers are “constantly having fights, arguments, screaming yelling.”

Neginskaya told HNN she’s called the police.

“I have multiple police reports,” she said. “They say they can’t really do anything.”

Meanwhile, Kraemer says she’s not certain why the would-be thief targeted her clinic Monday night.

“He might have been after medications,” she said.

She believes he likely would have gotten in if she didn’t scare him off.

“I have you on video,” she could be heard saying through her Ring doorbell. “So you better leave.”

If you know the identity of the suspect, you’re asked to call Honolulu Crimestoppers at 955-8300.

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