Bicycle companies take steps to protect customers after purse-snatching attempt

Some bicycle rental companies are trying to be proactive after an attempted purse-snatching in Kailua was caught on camera.

A woman was riding a bicycle when someone grabbed her purse. The two briefly struggled before the suspect fell down and ran off.

We’re told the victim in the video is okay, just a little shaken.

This isn’t the first time something like this has happened, so we wanted to find out what’s being done to warn others.

“It was pretty shocking to me, in broad daylight you know, just blatantly trying to grab the bag,” said Randal Okada, a manager at The Bike Shop in Kailua.

He says bicycle rentals are popular among tourists who visit the area.

“I was trying to see if that was one of our bikes and unfortunately it was,” Okada said. “She was relatively calm. Her friend on the other hand, she was a little distressed, worried, but she’s the one who told me they went to the police to file a report.”

We wanted to know what bike rental companies are doing to address these incidents with customers, and learned a few places are offering lockers free of charge.

“It’s more of an issue of educating them and letting them know how to stay safe and careful,” said Matthew Murai, The Bike Shop employee.

Other bike rental companies are posting signs warning tourists about the incidents and to be aware of their surroundings.

“The areas that have been targeted in the past couple months, I would say definitely more police presence would be appreciated,” Okada said.

The Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii told KHON2 the number of purse-snatchings reported to its office is actually down. Still, officials say, it’s best to play it safe.

“Keep your valuables in your hotel safe. Take only what you need to the beach, the park, or wherever you’re going that day,” said Jessica Lani Rich with VASH.

Honolulu police say they’re following up on leads, but haven’t arrested anyone.

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