Brazen and in broad daylight, attempted purse-snatching raises safety concerns in Lanikai

Video surveillance still courtesy James Ruvio
Video surveillance still courtesy James Ruvio

A 27-year-old woman was arrested for attempted robbery and a warrant Tuesday morning in relation to an attempted purse-snatching in Lanikai Sunday that was caught on camera.

The attempted robbery targeting a Japanese visitor in broad daylight is raising concerns about safety at one of Oahu’s most popular beaches.

The video was caught on surveillance video by resident James Ruvio, who lived just steps away from the incident.

The video recording timestamped at 1:08 p.m. shows a woman riding a bicycle with others on well-traveled Mokulua Drive when someone walking the other way tries to grab her bag.

The would-be victim grabs the bag as well and doesn’t let go, leading to a struggle for the bag.

After a few seconds, the suspect falls to the ground, then lets go and runs off.

“Finally, the perpetrator gives up and gets into the black vehicle and then just guns it out of Lanikai, which is also not safe cause we got tons of tourists coming down the only road in and out,” said Ruvio.

Police said Tuesday that the car was recovered in Waimanalo. They are still looking for a male suspect.

Ruvio says he heard a woman’s scream from inside his house when the incident occurred, but didn’t think it was anything serious.

And although police have not released any details into the incident, Ruvio says police came knocking moments after he heard the scream.

“Then some tires squeal and my fiancee says ‘oh, it’s probably just the movies.’ I’m like okay, I don’t think too much of it. Next thing you know, the cops come knocking on the door and they’re like ‘hey, we had an attempted purse snatch, with your security cameras, can your pull it.’ I was like oh my gosh, that’s what it was,” explained Ruvio.

Ruvio says it paints a bad picture of Hawaii when tourists are attacked.

“Tourism is sort of bread-and-butter out here in Hawaii, so we want to paint a good picture and we want a safe neighborhood, not just for the tourists, but also for the locals and everyone else that lives here,” Ruvio said.

According to the Honolulu Police Department’s crime mapping website, there have been eight thefts and car break-ins in Lanikai so far this month, but half of those were in the past week alone with three thefts and one car break-in.

11-27-lanikai-crimemapping
Courtesy of Honolulu Police Department’s CrimeMapping online tool.

“This is a quiet neighborhood, it’s a safe neighborhood, like I’ve got two kids. This is not something I’m used to, but I’m hearing it more and more, and it’s kind of concerning,” he added.

His message to the those involved in the brash incident?

“Think about if this would happen to you in another country, how would you feel? And, you know, to me, it’s kind of disgusting,” Ruvio said.

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