Visitors come to Waikiki for surf, sun, and shopping. But one group is also being investigated for taking to the strip to steal.
Lamonte Horston, Mico Johnson, Powell Lee, Jr., Regine Adrow-Hubbard, and Jayonna Mason flew in last week from Oakland, Calif. and spent four days in Honolulu. Police sources say they hit up high-end stores, including some at Ala Moana Center, using fraudulent credit cards.
“It might be because this location is very busy, so sometimes thee types of things are overlooked and they obviously think they can get away with it,” said Codee Rapoza, with Hamilton Boutique.
But the group of five didn’t get far. On Saturday at the Honolulu International Airport, police stopped them in their tracks as they were about to leave. They were arrested for second-degree identity theft.
KHON2 caught up with the group at HPD’s main station, as they were being released pending investigation. They refused to talk about the case.
Earlier this year, police busted two other groups of credit card ID thieves.
Secret Service officials warned then that many of the suspects in these cases come to Hawaii because they blend in as tourists.
“And we see so many people coming in and out of the stores every day. There’s really never a familiar face,” Arancino Restaurant General Manager Daniel Walker said.
Arancino Restaurant on Beachwalk says it’s the businesses that pay the price with credit card fraud.
“Absolutely, we end up taking a loss if the credit card company negates the charge pout on the card because it is the responsibility of a business to check the ID on a credit card,” Walker said.
That’s why stores are double checking IDs and credit cards, making sure they don’t become a thieves next target.
“Now, people can be more serious about this topic and it won’t happen again,” Rapoza said.
The group of five is not in police custody as the investigation is ongoing.