Residents concerned after car stolen in Waikiki with toddler inside

For the second time this week, a brazen crime has taken place in Waikiki.

Honolulu police say a man stole a car from the area with a toddler in it. The vehicle was taken near Seaside Avenue just before midnight.

Police say the three-year-old girl inside was later let out of the vehicle.

The vehicle was recovered in Maili nearly two hours later, at around 1:45 a.m., after it overturned in a ditch.

Police are still looking for the suspect, who was reported to be wearing a white T-shirt and black shorts.

Anyone with information is asked to call police.

The news comes after a woman was robbed at gunpoint at Kapiolani Park.

Is this a sign that crime is on the rise in Waikiki?

People who live in the area say they normally feel safe, but in recent years, they feel like crime has increased and they want to see some changes.

Giuseppe Mottola is one of them. He lives and works in Waikiki.

“I’ve been here a long time and I always feel safe, but in recent years, I have been feeling a little bit uncomfortable going in different areas of Waikiki especially,” he said.

Mottola says his bike has been stolen 20 times in the last 10 years. “No matter what lock you have, they cut it,” he said.

We checked HPD’s crime mapping tool and found there were 89 crimes reported in the last week in Waikiki, with the most prevalent crime being theft and larceny.

Other crimes include car theft and car break-ins.

KHON2 talked to Walt Flood, vice chair of the Waikiki neighborhood board, who says he’d like to see more patrols in the area, specifically undercover police officers.

“We need some boots on the ground,” Flood said. “I’ve been here 45 years living in Waikiki and I see more crime now than I’ve seen for many, many years.”

Flood says residents should consider joining a neighborhood watch program or simply be aware of your surroundings.

You should also not leave your car running, even if you plan to step away for a few seconds.

Mottola says he now plans to be more alert and aware of his surroundings, especially after hearing about the woman being robbed at gunpoint at Kapiolani Park, a place he considers safe.

“When you hear kidnapping in the car, you are thinking NYPD, New York or Los Angeles, downtown Los Angeles,” Mottola said. “But Kapiolani Park where we go and ride the bicycles and swim? It’s shocking.”

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