Kailua residents turn to Facebook after recent rash of burglaries

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Thieves on Oahu have been keeping busy over the last month.

According to the Honolulu Police Department’s crime-mapping website, there were 414 burglaries from May 17 to through June 17.

Kailua was hit hard, with more than 30 burglaries. Police say the number is slightly higher that average.

Cory Mehau has an alarm company looking over his house. He came home with his family Saturday evening to his front door open, his louvre windows on the back side of the house taken down, and realized some prized possessions were missing.

“The Wii, the Apple TV, the camera, an Olympus camera that we had on the counter top. At that point of course we called the police,” Mehau said.

He says losing those items isn’t the worst part — it’s the feeling of being violated in your own home.

“It’s what they do to the feel of how we can feel comfortable in our own home. That’s the biggest impact,” Mehau said.

The rash of burglaries in the community prompted his wife to start a Facebook page called Hono Kailua, meaning to fix or repair Kailua, because they feel something needs to be done.

Many people are responding. With more than 400 “Likes” in the past three days, the page has hit a nerve. People are sharing their own experiences, as well as what they should be looking out for.

“What we’re hoping is that we’ll force the element out of the neighborhood by letting them know that we’re not just gonna sit around. That we are definitely offended, that we are definitely aggressively taking this as an assault,” Mehau said.

Experts say it’s an important tool because it gets more people aware of what’s going on in their neighborhood. It also allows neighbors to get to know each other so they can easily spot something suspicious.

“So if there’s a car that pulls up that’s in your driveway that shouldn’t be in your driveway, it may trigger a neighbor to check in on you to make sure that everything’s okay,” said Kris Chatterjee of Alert Alarm Hawaii.

There are little things people can do to discourage would-be thieves like clearing out overgrown bushes. That way neighbors can see if someone’s approaching your window.

Chatterjee says a sign from an alarm company, even if you don’t have an alarm system, can be a good deterrent.

Chetterjee says having a camera outside the house is a good idea. Even if it doesn’t work, it might be enough to discourage burglars.

Click here to visit Hono Kailua’s Facebook page.

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