Kaneohe residents work to take back their neighborhood

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Some Kaneohe residents are saying enough is enough after their homes have been burglarized.

This is an area that’s had its share of burglaries.  Some homes have even been hit more than once.

But no one’s taken the initiative to get the neighbors together to work with police, until now.

Myrna Hanashiro is a burglary victim.

“They came in from that window here,” Hanashiro said, pointing to a window in the back of her house.

It happened last summer.

“And they went in to this drawer which I had all my jewelry and took it, emptied it, and they came downstairs and emptied in into one of my cooler bags,” Hanashiro said.

She lives on Hinapu Street in the Crown Terrace II subdivision of Kaneohe, near King Intermediate School.

“It’s a really nice area.  You wouldn’t think anything like this would happen to any of us,” Hanashiro said.

But it not only happened to Myrna’s home, but also to her neighbors.

“That week, I think five of us got hit every day,” Hanashiro said.

And the burglaries continue.

Police say in just the past three months, two homes on Myrna’s street were burglarized.

“So I said I gotta do something,” Hanashiro said.

So she called police.  And she’s now the coordinator of the Neighborhood Security Watch program for her area, which includes her street, and four other neighboring ones.

“The thing is, you cannot be afraid of them let them be afraid of us.  Let’s take back the community,” Hanashiro said.

Tonight, police gave a presentation at Myrna’s house.  It’s the second in a series of three meetings to set up a new program.

“Just a real quick raise of hands.  I’d like to know who’s been a victim of burglary or vehicle break in?” Honolulu Police Department Officer Kimo Omerod asked.

Almost everyone raised their hands.

When asked what the residents are doing wrong, and why their homes are getting burglarized, Omerod responded: “It’s not that they’re doing anything right or wrong.  It’s just that no one is communicating as far as the neighbors are concerned.”

It takes a partnership between neighbors and police to help reduce crime.

“We explain the guidelines they need to abide by if they are going to be part of NSW, which is being non confrontational and the eyes and ears of the community,” Omerod said.

“My goal is to help the people in this neighborhood and to keep crime down and make this neighborhood safe for all of us. You know we have to take back our community,” Hanashiro said.

Burglaries are actually down across Oahu.

The latest numbers reveal that in 2012 burglaries were down 12.4 percent compared to in 2011.  And police attribute that in part to vigilant neighbors helping out.

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