After a popular bakery shut down due to repeated assaults and a burglary, nearby Chinatown residents and businesses are angry. But KHON2 learned not everyone is taking a strong stand against these crimes, like they once did.
What was once a 70 member strong citizens patrol in Chinatown has not only dwindled, some week’s it’s non-existent, and one member of that group is crying out for help.
Enough was enough for Otto Cake. The bakery owner no longer felt safe on Smith Street.
Years of dealing with crime outside his shop pushed him over the edge, so he moved out.
“Miss him already, I’m so sorry he leave but what can we do,” Yes Barber and Hair Styling owner Linda Dang said.
Dang understands his fear because her Hair Salon has also been targeted by criminals.
“I’ve been robbed 2 time’s the fist time they take the second I caught them,” Dang said.
But it’s not just their street that is seeing crimes.
“For June there were 12 assaults, 5 burglaries,” Honolulu Police Department Sgt. Jon Castro said.
Crimes are also happening elsewhere in the Downtown Chinatown Neighborhood.
There are about 20 officers during normal patrol of the area, not including specialized bicycle and Segway detail. Some feel that’s not enough.
“Any plans from HPD to address this issue,” Downtown Neighborhood Board member Chu Lan Shubert-Kwock said.
“I will voice your concern to the assigned Sergeant… Sergeant Vollrath,” Sgt Castro said.
Others say it takes a village to move the criminals off their streets.
“They are not laying down it’s their territory and they are allowing us to live in their territory and we’re just getting fed up with it,” Downtown Chinatown Citizens Patrol member Dolores Mollring said.
Mollring has been organizing the Downtown Chinatown Citizens Patrol Group since 1994. Every Tuesday, the team would hit the streets to take a stand against crime.
In 2011, they were in full force.
“We had over 70 people, and I’m sad to say Kukui Plaza and Downtown Chinatown we have two or three at the most five,” Mollring said.
“Every Tuesday?” KHON2 said.
“Every Tuesday, in fact I’ve gone by myself a couple of times,” Mollring said.
A trend she says is troubling and she’s calling out her neighbors.
“You can’t sit on your butts and not take an active role, that’s what it is take an active role in your neighborhood,” Mollring said.
The Citizens Patrol meets every Tuesday night on the Diamond Head side of Kukui Plaza at 8 p.m.