HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Eldon Delos Santos, a retail manager at the Ala Moana Center, said his business deals with shoplifters on a daily basis.
“We had people running out of the store into waiting cars,” said Delos Santos. “We had a guy who threatened to stab one of my managers when he tried to leave with goods.”
And the situation seems to be getting worse.
Tina Yamaki, president of Retail Merchants of Hawaii, said businesses have seen a sharp increase in shoplifting in recent months.
“We heard from our members that organized retail crime in stores is escalating and these criminals are getting bolder, especially now they can hide their faces with a baseball cap, dark sunglasses and a mask,” said Yamaki. .
Delos Santos believes that shoplifting these days is not out of desperation, but out of profit.
“They steal it and sell it, they turned around, they could sell it for five, ‘0 dollars,” said Delos Santos. “They don’t care, it doesn’t cost them anything from the start.”
According to Yamaki, many retailers post videos or stills of the thieves on social media.
Delos Santos said this can help generate leads, but it can also help raise awareness in the industry.
“It’s not so much that they have lost trust in HPD, I think more that they have lost a bit of trust in the law in general,” said Delos Santos.
“Knowing that if you are hit, if you are robbed, you will not get a heavy penalty, you will be slapped and you will be right back.”
Yamaki said they had reached out to the new prosecutor and other federal law enforcement agencies to see how they can work together to try and get these types of criminals off the streets.
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