An Ewa Beach man became a crime victim twice in just one day. First, his car was hit. Then the thieves turned to his house, taking extra steps to ensure he wouldn’t catch them in the act.
March 22 was a typical Saturday of golf for Ewa resident Charles Akana, but when he got back to his car at the Ewa Villages Golf Course parking lot, his weekend of fun turned sour.
“They broke the lock and got in,” Akana said. “They took everything but my Bibles.”
Thieves took Akana’s work bag and all of the vehicle’s documentation including registration and safety check. That’s what led the thieves to their next target. About an hour after thieves broke into Akana’s car, a couple of suspicious men showed up at his house.
“I believe they came to look at my house. They cased my house,” he said.
Witnesses spotted the men as they tried to get into the house, then drove off.
Police officers KHON2 spoke with say it’s a rising trend and sometimes the thieves take it even farther.
“What they do is they disable your car so you can’t go home and they are going to go to your house with the information that they have from your car and try and do what they can,” Akana said.
The vehicle break-in cost Akana $1,200 in repairs and another thousand to replace the stolen items, which included a family heirloom, a Takamine “Jasmine” guitar. The guitar retails for a few hundred dollars, but to the Akanas, it’s priceless. It had been handed down from legendary slack-key guitarist and Hawaiian musician Gabby Pahinui.
“My sister gave it to me. It was from my grandma Pahinui,” Akana said. “I called my sister and I apologized for what happened.”
Akana bought a new guitar, but says it doesn’t replace the family heirloom. He is offering a small reward, no questions asked, for its return (contact him via email).
Honolulu police offer the following tips to safeguard your property:
- Never leave items in plain sight in your car. Even the trunk is not 100% theft-proof.
- After a vehicle break-in, if you suspect thieves may target your home, call police and get an officer to check on it. Police also suggest calling a neighbor to check on your home.
- Get involved in protecting your community by joining a neighborhood watch.