Burglaries have biz owners stepping up

A spike in burglaries on the South Shore has business owners such as Nick Morrison, whose Kalaheo restaurant was hit two nights in a row, taking matters into their own hands.

Morrison spent much of his time yesterday installing more security throughout his restaurant, the Camp House Grill, to help protect it from being targeted again by thieves.

That’s because it’s been burglarized three times in the past month.

The first time, Morrison had beer stolen from his restaurant. The same thing happened the second time, on April 28.

However, in the most recent incident, on April 29 — just one night after the second burglary — Morrison saw evidence of a different type of thief altogether, with what seemed to be a distinct method of operation, he said.

“He was brazen enough to break in by the windows by the intersection,” Morrison said. “It was obvious he was looking for cash and safes, not just beer like the others. He ransacked our place with no fear of being caught.”

The Camp House Grill wasn’t the lone target. Holy Cross Church and the Menehune Food Mart were also broken into that night.

Though Morrison will now rely on his beefed-up security and recent history to help stave off future burglaries, those measures fall short of addressing the real problem, he said.

“There is so little (police) coverage,” Morrison said of the three or four officers assigned to cover much of the South Shore at once.

“A (burglary ring) working an area could control the whole town of Po‘ipu or Koloa with a cell phone or police scanner.”

Last week, other break-ins on the South Shore in the Po‘ipu area — including instances in which guests were present while their belongings were stolen — were also causing alarm among hotels and businesses.

Police arrested two men in connection with several of the Po‘ipu burglaries May 2.

However, that offered little comfort for some in the area as the security officers who helped identify the thieves were attacked shortly after the arrests.

Though police have not made any arrests in association with the assaults on the security officers, there haven’t been any burglaries in Po‘ipu since the two men, one of whom is David William Victorino Jr., 45, of Kapa‘a, were picked up.

Police have not released the name of the other South Shore burglary suspect.

Through Mary Daubert, county spokeswoman, police stated they could not comment on whether they have any leads in relation to the Kalaheo burglaries or the assault cases. They did, however, confirm the cases are under investigation.

• Amanda C. Gregg, assistant editor/staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 252) or agregg@kauaipubco.com.

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