Teens behind latest crime wave in Chinatown

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There may not be a more vibrant place on Oahu than Chinatown. But a number of merchants say they have been victims of the crime — mostly by teenagers.

“With ages from eight to about 18, 19, 20. And they come in a pack, which is a frightening part because when you’re a single operator, when there’s a pack of kids — half of them standing outside your store, half of them sitting inside — and then they don’t move,” said Chu Lan Shubert-Kwock, President of the Chinatown Business and Community Association.

A community business development meeting with the Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and his staff is scheduled for Wednesday night and this topic will come up.

“If that does come up, we do want to reassure people that HPD is currently investigating these various crimes. But we also really want to encourage people to report these crimes,” said Shawn Hamamoto, with Mayor Caldwell’s office.

“We are more concerned about drug dealers. We’re more concerned about thievery, robbing, burglary than jaywalking. Seriously, people are upset about so many police hours are spent on jaywalking tickets,” Shubert-Kwock said.

Salon owner Terry Wong says he’s had two close calls with teens looking to rob him. But that’s just part of his concern.

“Oh, yeah, around here, a lot of drug dealers, drunk people, homeless. Too much,” Wong said.

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