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Thieves strike evacuated Hilo neighborhood

By Leila Fujimori

POSTED:



Eight houses in a tsunami inundation zone in Hilo were wiped out, not by a tsunami, but by burglars Saturday night after residents had evacuated.

"It was really peculiar," said resident Don Moody, whose Keau­kaha home was spared. "My neighbor on one side lost anything gold and sparkly — jewelry, women's underwear, lingerie, swimsuits and a bicycle. A couple houses over, they took a chain saw and a Weed Eater."

A woman whose home was hit said the burglary has left her unsettled. "My house smelled different. It just felt different," said the woman, who asked not to be identified.

The burglars stole her underwear and swimsuit, and she suspects they were searching for prescription medication because her medicine cabinet was ransacked. Another neighbor also had underwear stolen, and an elderly couple had jewelry stolen, she said.

"I'm very angry at the people looting our neighborhood, which is essentially what it is," she said. "It's taking advantage of a very vulnerable time, so I'm frustrated with them. But I'm frustrated with the lack of police presence."

Police are investigating the break-ins as a "burglary of a dwelling during a civil defense emergency," a Class A felony punishable by up to 20 years' imprisonment, police said.

Police Capt. Robert Wagner said "smaller items" were taken from eight houses on Kalanianaole Avenue, but declined to elaborate. "We have some leads that we're following up on," he said. "It's typical to get fingerprints."

Moody said when he arrived home at 3:30 a.m., "I didn't see one police car. I thought they didn't protect this area. It probably happened between 9:30 p.m. and 1:30 a.m.," during the evacuation.

Wagner said, "The only thing we could do is to be in that area, but it's an evacuation zone. If we're not there, look what happens. It's not so much us not being there. It's everybody not being there. The public has more eyes than we do."

Police ask anyone with information to call Sgt. James Correa at 961-2289 or the police non-emergency line at 935-3311.






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96815068 wrote:
I hope these crooks get caught and be served with some Hilo justice.
on October 31,2012 | 02:34AM
soshaljustic wrote:
An example why people oftentimes do NOT evacuate when ordered to do so. Sandy is a reminder why evacuation is important-people's lives are never negotiable instruments. DO NOT LET THE COST OF THINGS OWNED DETERMINE THE VALUE OF YOUR LIFE!
on October 31,2012 | 06:57AM
false wrote:
Two constants in Hawaii, human rats and theft
on October 31,2012 | 07:13AM
allie wrote:
yup
on October 31,2012 | 10:16AM
2_centz wrote:
This thieves thing in Hilo is the result of the community and the young people of the community and before this incident stealing from people who go to the beaches along Keaukaha. The acceptance of this stealing from the beach goers was acceptable. Now that the mindset of the thieves telling themsleves that they can steal from the certain group of people outside of Keaukaha was acceptable to the community and police and the police tooke the attitude that they could do nothing since the community accepted that behavior among their young people. the karma came back to bite them in the rearend. And the young people who never knew better began stealing from their own community. end of this explanation and my opinion but something thought out on the comments and in the minds of all those in Keaukaha but kept quiet to themselves.
on October 31,2012 | 07:39AM
RetiredWorking wrote:
If I was victimized, I'd set mean traps on my property, with warning signs. Sounds cruel, but theives deserve it.
on October 31,2012 | 09:11AM
allie wrote:
true..and what is with that silly Mayor. He is ineffective and an embarrassment
on October 31,2012 | 10:17AM
johncdechon wrote:
Apparently, the reason for the evacuation (the "emergency" event) was not that serious, after all, the LOOTERS survived in that neighborhood just fine, didn't they. Think about STAYING HOME next time, and count on YOURSELF to deal with looters (s h o o t them) -- forget the police. Here many of us STAY, and some put up signs: "You loot, we s h o o t." Looters will ALWAYS be there during/after any disaster (natural or man-made), so just depend on yourself AND your neighbors...Organize some sort of "Neighborhood Response Plan" for the NEXT time, seeing what happened THIS time with no police in sight.
on October 31,2012 | 10:16AM
gary360 wrote:
Simply put: Bunch of LOW LIFES.
on October 31,2012 | 11:24AM
kukaikid wrote:
better catch these guys and seek the maximum 20 years. if there was a tsunami, they would have begged for help if they needed it; they would have sued if they got hurt; they risked their own lives. Furthermore, they risk the lives of others by adding to the paranoia of emergency evacuations. No doubt that some of the climbing number of rescues and deathtoll in NJ are the result of this paranoia.
on October 31,2012 | 11:57AM
loquaciousone wrote:
This one should be a slam dunk. Hawaii County Police only need to look for a woman or a cross dresser who knows the guy whose house was spared.
on October 31,2012 | 01:37PM
jk96795 wrote:
some detective work here. women's underwear and bathing suits. The theif is a chic. Its more than one person, probably boyfriend and girlfriend. Guarantee tweekers. stealing items that can either be amped or underwear because tweekers feel sexyand after loosing so much weight need undies. Probaby in early twentys. Because 40 year bracket remember the fear instilled in their parents and granparents about the devastating Hilo tsunami. Therefore a civil defense siren would definitely be taken seriously. That is unless you are too young and disobedient to realize the wisdom that is being passed to you by your makua and kupuna. I hope these buttholes get caught. And they will. The community will know these crooks. They went through the homes so quickly. They didnt want to be found in the house because they are known to the residents. Watch the beaches. That chic will be using your bathing suit. Poho dat kine.
on October 31,2012 | 02:28PM
jk96795 wrote:
BTW. No be mad at the Police. If you evacuated because you worried for you life and your families life. Why you expect the police for guard your belongings. You dont think he love is life and his family too. No be so selfish. Everything else is just material.
on October 31,2012 | 02:29PM
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