12-03-21 Police Ask the Public to take Precautions as Vehicle Thefts Increase

Hawai‘i Police Department                                                   
Puna District
Captain Scott Amaral
Phone: (808) 965-2716

Media Release

The Hawai‘i Police Department is warning the public about a recent identified uptick in auto thefts and break-ins in East Hawaii that have in some cases been identified as crimes of opportunity.

Would be thieves are breaking into or stealing vehicles when they are easy targets because owners leave valuables in plain sight, leave vehicle windows down and vehicle doors unlocked. Often times in the reported incidents police have found that the vehicle keys were left in the vehicle ignition or in the vehicle console. 

It’s not just isolated areas that this activity is taking place either. During the holiday season wherever people gather can become potential hot spots for criminal activity according to Captain Scott Amaral patrol commander in Puna.

“Don’t be an easy target” says Captain Amaral. “Be a hard target for crime, it’s doing the simple stuff, like, lock your vehicle, even at home, hide valuables in the vehicle out of sight, or better yet don’t leave them in the vehicle. Be aware of your surroundings, and look out for each other, if you see something, say something”.

Police are offering up these other no non-sense tips:

  • Park only in well-lit areas
  • Don’t ever leave your car running, and unattended.
  • Always keep your keys with you and never leave them in the vehicle.
  • Activate/install audible vehicle alarms.
  • Never leave valuables in a vehicle.
  • Always lock your vehicle doors.
  • Never leave a hidden spare key with the vehicle.
  • At home, never leave spare keys out in the open.

Police will be increasing patrols, and forming special units in an effort to combat and apprehend offenders in vehicle thefts.

The Hawai‘i Police Department’s Community Policing Teams can assist public members wanting to increase their ability to fight back against becoming a victim of crime. They can be contacted at 961-2350 in East Hawaii and 326-4646, ext. 259 in West Hawai‘i.

The Hawai‘i Island Police remind the public to be observant, report suspicious activity by calling the Police Department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311, or in an emergency 911.

Police are also soliciting from the public any information relative to vehicle thefts. Public members with information can call the non-emergency number or Crime Stoppers, where confidential tipsters can remain anonymous.  

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