Paddleboard thefts plague Wilhelmina Rise residents

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Paddleboards and surfboards are hot commodities, and thieves are all too aware of it.

The Honolulu Police Department says there were a dozen cases in the past month and most of them were in Maunalani Heights and Wilhelmina Rise area.

During the Labor Day weekend, there were four boards stolen from residents in the Wilhelmina Rise area. KHON2 spoke with two of the victims, who did not want to be identified.

“It’s just an annoyance, the theft, I mean that’s the part that’s really annoying. I mean, paddleboards are about a thousand bucks a piece or more,” one victim said.

“It’s disappointing. I know the police officers had mentioned to us that it’s a growing trend and that he thinks possibly that the thieves are shipping the boards off island,” a second victim said.

In both cases, the items were stolen from the garage. The second victim had a surfboard and paddleboard stolen, which is worth more than $2,000.

“Normally, we keep them in the house if we’re not using them often, but it’s kind of difficult to get an 11-foot paddleboard to get in and out of the front door,” the second victim said.

HPD says the boards were either stolen from garages or from taken from the roof of owners’ cars, and they were taken late at night or early in the morning.

But some thieves are actually willing to go inside a store and steal a surfboard in broad daylight. Workers at H.I.C. in Kailua say someone walked off with a brand new surfboard worth more than $500.

“Had it leaning on top of the bodyboards out in front and just, you know, I kind of like this board and someone leaves for a split-second and just right out the door real quick,” H.I.C. sales representative Brody Asing said.

Asing says the thief came in with other men who kept workers busy and away from the front door.

“We had one of our associates in here and three guys distracting him asking him questions and pulling him out to the side,” Asing said.

Workers here say they have also been hearing more from customers and area residents who have had their boards stolen.

HPD recommends keeping your garage closed at night or when you’re not at home, if possible. They also recommend to keep those boards in an enclosed area when they’re not in use.

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