Minimart, Laundromat Burglarized

Two Kaunakakai businesses were broken into last week, though in both cases damages were minimal.

Early on the morning of Aug. 17, a thief cut the power to Molokai Minimart and kicked through the door. His target was apparently a cash register box, which was the only item he made away with, but owner Kirt Greenman said it was empty – he always empties the register after closing.

“It’s just bad business practice not to do that,” Greenman said.

The incident was captured on security cameras and Greenman uploaded the footage to YouTube last week (search “Molokai Minimart”). In it, the thief appears frantic and is in and out of the store in less than 15 seconds.

The break-in triggered the store’s security alarms, which were running on battery power, and police responded a few minutes later. Police were unavailable for comment.

In the wake of the theft, Greenman posted signs on the front and back doors of the store announcing that no cash is kept in the register overnight. He has also invested in higher resolution security cameras.

Greenman has owned Minimart for two years and said this was the first incident he has had.

Molokai Surf Shop was burglarized in a similar manner in June. Thieves cut the building’s power and kicked in the door before making away with about $6,000 in merchandise, according to owner Jerry Leonard.

Laundry Break-In
A machine at Ohana Laundry was damaged late on Aug. 15 when thieves tried unsuccessfully to access a coin deposit box, according to owner Ed Medeiros. He was able to repair the damages, which he estimated were a few hundred dollars-worth.

“It’s tough to take,” Medeiros said. “It’s mostly irritating.”

This is not the first break-in for the laundromat. In December, five machines were vandalized in a similar incident, causing damages worth several thousand dollars. Medeiros identified the thieves from surveillance footage and is now pressing charges.

Ohana Laundry used to be open 24 hours a day, but with the rash of burglaries, Medeiros has started locking it at 9 p.m. 

“I want to keep it open – a lot of customers go in after hours, but it’s just causing too much damage,” he said.

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