KAPAA — Ryan Newman doesn’t understand how anyone can break into a Christian store on the campus of a church and preschool.
“Why would anyone want to steal from an organization committed to serving the people of Kauai — especially a community of faith committed to caring for our keiki and the underserved?” wrote Rev. Newman, rector and head of school at All Saints’ Episcopal Church and Preschool in Kapaa.
Hale Lani Christian Store at All Saints’ Kapaa was broken into and vandalized shortly past midnight on Monday, Newman told TGI. He said it’s the third time in three years the Christian store has experienced similar incidents.
After gaining access to All Saints’ Gym, suspects smashed the glass of the store’s front door and proceeded to pound away at the door’s locks until they gained access to Hale Lani, Newman wrote.
“From what we can tell, a broken door, broken glass,” he said. “We’re still looking through more inventory to make sure. Nothing was actually stolen from the store.”
Newman said it will cost the church about $400 to replace the door.
“When I walked over to the store’s entrance at about 12:30 at night, I could see the damage to the door and clearly there was a forced entry,” he said. “At that point, I pulled back to the area and called Kauai police. … They went into the store with guns drawn.”
“My initial (reaction of the incident) was general fear and after that it was disappointment,” said Newman who lives on property. “It’s sad how some people are treating places of business, places of worship on our island. It’s really sad.”
Newman said the last time Hale Lani was broken into was about 18 months ago. About $300 of cash was stolen and the store suffered about $500-$700 worth of damages.
“At that time we had a lock that could be unlocked from the inside,” he said. “This time, now, there’s a key lock on both sides. Whoever got there was working hard to open that lock because you can’t unlock from the inside.”
Proceeds from Hale Lani help to support All Saints’ Youth Ministry Program and community outreach programs like Laundry Love (free laundry services to the community) and Movie Nights on the Lawn (free, family-friendly entertainment to the Island).
“All of that money goes back to the community, so that’s the added sadness,” he said. “We pray for the individual (or individuals) who perpetrated this crime against the All Saints’ community and the people of Kauai. May the barriers which divide us crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, we may live in justice and peace.”
Since the second incident, Newman said, All Saints’ Kapaa have installed cameras on the property.
“A small church like us is putting in more resources into camera and security,” he said. “We shouldn’t have to do that.”