Hawaiʻi Police Department
South Hilo District
Captain Robert Wagner
Hawaiʻi Island police are warning the public about a recent rash of car break-ins.
During the months of January and February, 35 cars were entered illegally at parks, shopping centers and homes in the South Hilo District. Of those, 27 auto break-ins involved cars or trucks that had been left unlocked. The remaining eight involved locked vehicles that had been forced open after valuable items had been left in plain view.
During the same time period, police in Kona responded to 31 cases of unauthorized entry of a motor vehicle, and Puna officers responded to 25.
Captain Robert Wagner urges citizens to lock their cars, even those parked at home, and to remove all valuables. “If you lock your vehicle doors and don’t leave items of value in plain view, it is highly unlikely you will be the victim of a car break-in,” Wagner said. “Also, car break-ins in many cases contribute to identity theft, as thieves often target vehicles with purses left in plain view.”
In addition to thefts of items from within vehicles, Wagner said, some thieves steal the cars when keys are left in the ignition—often when the owners make a quick stop at the store.
Police advise the public to take the extra steps of removing car keys and valuables and locking car doors.