Doesn’t get much lower than stealing from thrift store

Theft, like most places, is a problem on Kauai. We receive the usual reports of car break-ins, burglaries of rental properties and someone stealing something left unguarded at the beach. Routine stuff. It’s why guests are warned to not leave anything in their rental car or park in an isolated area, because that increases the odds of them being the victim of a smash and grab. Don’t leave anything valuable on the beach and go for a walk and expect your stuff to be there when you get back. And don’t leave expensive electronics or camera gear in your rental unit because someone might take that, too. Old news, which we’ve commented on before.

So why are we back on this subject? A community thrift store has long been targeted by thieves, which is sad. Worse, is that those break-ins are increasing, four already this year. Burglars are kicking in doors at the Hoomana thrift store, 4531 Kuamoo Road, trashing the place and taking high-end items such as dressers, mattresses, jewelry and electronics. The losses, collectively, are in the thousands. 

The store across from Coco Palms is one component of the nonprofit organization of the same name. Consider all the good it does. Its main focus is as a training site that teaches job and life skills to special needs children and young adults. There’s a financial literacy program to help teach young volunteers the value of a dollar. The goal is to help them learn to live independently by understanding the difference between needs and wants. They are also learning the lesson that some take what they want, rather than earn it. Ironically, a volunteer installed a video camera and the computer recorded two individuals wearing black hooded jackets, black eyeglasses and jeans breaking into the store. But the thieves stole the camera along with whatever else they decided was worth carrying away.

What can be done? Some blame the store for lack of security. They say they need better locks or perhaps a large guard dog should roam the inside of the building. Then thieves might stop breaking in. Doubtful. You know the old saying. Where there is a will, there is a way. 

We believe Hoomana deserves all the support it can get and usually, it does. Folks are great about donating there and we hope they continue to do that. But there are those who insist on stealing from this fine organization. We hope they stop. If you can, stop by Hoomana, share an encouraging word, perhaps even make a donation. Let’s help this organization stay strong.

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