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Burglars hit Kauai hotels via sliding doors left open

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Guests were being reminded by police to lock sliding doors after a third hotel burglary occurred in Kapaa this week.

The Mokihana of Kauai Hotel was targeted Wednesday in the latest of a string of hotel burglaries. The Kauai Sands Hotel and Best Western Plantation Hale were hit at about the same time early Sunday. Police said the burglaries at Kauai Sands and the Plantation Hale are believed to be related after stolen items from both properties were found discarded together.

All three hotels are less than five minutes away from each other. Sliding doors left open in the units were the common factor in all three burglaries.

"It’s the simple measure of just locking the door," said Lt. Kaleo Perez, district commander of Lihue. "They want to leave the doors open when they’re asleep, hear the ocean and feel the breeze. We’re going to have to change our (way of) thinking to be more safety conscious instead of preferring to leave the doors open and enjoy nature."

At 12:16 a.m. Wednesday, police said, a 39-year-old female visitor awoke when she heard her cell phone fall to the floor of her room at the Mokihana of Kauai. She saw a man fleeing through the sliding door.

Police said a messenger bag containing a camera, MP3 player, driver’s license, passport, credit cards and cash were stolen from the room.

This was the second burglary that occurred this month at the Mokihana. "It’s been really bad," said co-owner and general manager Gary Bolster. Seven units that are not air-conditioned were hit in the past 12 months. New security equipment was recently purchased to heighten surveillance on hotel grounds.

Police are continuing to investigate the burglaries, but no arrests have been made.

At Kauai Sands Hotel, manager Anna Carvalho said burglaries on the property are rare. "We haven’t had any break-ins for a year," she said.

At about 4:30 a.m. Sunday a visitor from Germany noticed her bag was missing when she awoke. Some of her items were found later in an area between Kauai Sands and the Outrigger at Lae Nani Resort. Management is being vigilant in working with police to help catch the burglars, said Carvalho.

During the same morning sometime between 3 and 4 a.m., one of five women staying in a unit at the Plantation Hale saw a man running toward the unit’s screen door. Police said the woman discovered that some of their belongings, including cash, were missing.

Anyone with information on the burglaries may call police dispatch at 241-1711 or CrimeStoppers at 241-1887.

 

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