Theft is heartbreaking, changes feelings for Kauai

This is a difficult letter to write because I have loved Kauai for the past 35 years. It has been our loving home away from home. We are kama‘aina!

We have watched many changes, from the devastation of hurricanes to the rise of condos and new hotels, but always felt the spirit of aloha. We had never experienced the evil that lies within the hearts of those who would steal our sense of aloha and security on this beautiful garden island.

On Saturday, Aug. 31, one or more of these evil people stole my security in the form of my purse with all of my identity secured within. They took more than money, phone and credit cards, which they used at Safeway and Walmart for over $2,900. They stole my one-of-a-kind, sequined, butterfly purse by Betsey Johnson I had bought on Kauai. It symbolized our escape to Kauai every year, a trip that often ended in tears as I said goodbye to this beautiful place.

I will always feel differently if I choose to return to my beloved Kauai punahele. I am sad and I am angry. The difficulties the thieves put me through, compromising my identity, will never be forgotten.

My friends sent me an expired passport and driver’s license, enabling me to get through airport security after they searched all of my belongings and body.

The Kauai police were as helpful as they could be, and I appreciate the demeanor and sincerity of officer Phillips. I was naive and learned a lesson to trust no more.

My hope is that the thieves really needed the money to feed their children, but my real fear is that this is a group of really evil people, so travelers to Kauai, beware. If you see a sequined butterfly purse, call 911.

•••

Linda Hussar is a resident of Gilroy, Calif.

11 Comments
  1. behappy September 29, 2019 2:30 am Reply

    How do you know the thieves were residents of Kauai? They too could have been visitors who needed a few extra bucks. I’ve had similar situations on the mainland but if you don’t know the culprit you cannot pin it on anyone.


  2. rk669 September 29, 2019 5:38 am Reply

    We have many issues here in the Ghetto,But I still love it!
    Just try being Cautious About everything and everyone!


  3. MisterM September 29, 2019 6:52 am Reply

    I’m disgusted with the entitled tone of the author. How do you lose $2900 via credit cards? By law, as long as you report theft in a reasonable amount of time, the most you are liable for is $50. And most card companies waive that. Oddly, the author omits how the theft occurred but admits to being naive. Something smells – seems to want to blame stupidity on others. What she really seems to miss is her silly purse, not the aloha of Kauai. Sad.


  4. Charlie Chimknee September 29, 2019 7:27 am Reply

    Aloha Linda,

    Hats off to the Garlic Capital of the world, Gilroy, California.

    Linda, don’t punish yourself and lower your esteem and good memories of Kauai, Kaua’i ‘s Aloha has not changed, but certainly newcomers to Kaua’i from around the world have changed the social environment in their less than Aloha existence.

    And while many newcomers represent a wonderful impact on the island…some do not and have not. The whole world is experiencing newcomers, many are escapees from a horrible place they lived whether for environment, lack of opportunity, weather, or criminality either their own or of others. Those who took advantage of you may have been off island low lifes or even God forbid born and raised.

    So yes some of those newcomers and even the ill-trained born and raised are ignorant to work and happiness and they do deceitful things like stealing your feeling of Aloha, remember, you still have Aloha, you brought it with you and it increased the volume of Aloha already here and you are to be thanked for that.

    But remember too, Aloha is and includes rising above those who are deficient in Aloha and making pule for them that one day Aloha will enter their hearts and minds and our collective volume of Aloha will rise to an even higher level and the loss of a possession will soften as your Aloha extends to yourself and others, and again the volume of Aloha increases.

    As to investigation one would think that The 2 large stores that your credit cards were used at would have time/date cameras, whose time and date info would zero in on the time and date your cards were used and let the police know who was at the store that day or even checkout counter…and Voila, those in need of Aloha are identified and hopefully they find in their hearts while behind bars that they will reimburse and or return all that was taken, and that incarceration or probation will include Aloha education so that they the culprits themselves will increase the volume of Aloha .

    Always…Turn Up The Volume Of ALOHA…! ! !

    It is music to the ears like Hawaiian Music always is.

    And in spite of all the woes of the world you will still find Warmth and Aloha on Kaua’i as it has been since the first canoe slid up on the sands of the beach at WAILUA, and Pele provided fresh water from Waialeale to the Voyagers’ parched lips as the Voyage’s finality of their aina search found this land of Aloha like no where else on Earth.

    May we predictably say a future E Komo Mai, Linda…! ! !


  5. Christie Thompson September 29, 2019 9:54 am Reply

    Aloha Linda, really so sorry for your loss! But that could happen anywhere on the earth that humans occupy… Why fault Kauai? I have had my purse returned in tact about 5 times in the last 26 years after leaving it accidentally in a shopping cart. I would say that speaks more to the Kauai spirit than a one time evil theft.
    Hopefully once you think about the situation in perspective your emotional response can be mitigated! Aloha C


  6. curious dog September 29, 2019 1:55 pm Reply

    Aloha Linda,

    My husband dropped $10 from his pocket at the ABC store in Kapaa & the workers returned it the very next day. Aloha abounds. Aloha is shared even when some aren’t eager to reciprocate. Tourists cannot judge Gilroy residents by the mass shooting that recently took place, & so it goes.

    Being on a tiny island in the Pacific does not insulate us from society’s ills & no matter the global location, there is a spoiler in every crowd.

    Someone has taken your money. Please don’t allow them to steal your Aloha Spirit.


  7. Steve September 29, 2019 2:08 pm Reply

    I am so sorry for your loss. That the fantasy of Kauai as a magical and mystical place that everything is love and aloha has been shattered.
    A place were that does not have drug addicts, homeless, broken families, or crime. A reality where you do not need to be responsible for yourself. I am so sorry for your loss.


  8. Tiana September 30, 2019 9:18 am Reply

    Things can and do happen anywhere and everywhere. You know this from recent tragic events in Gilroy, and maybe that makes you feel more vulnerable right now. Kauai IS a magical place filled with Aloha. But no place is all rainbows all the time. I learned that the hard way when I encountered a few drug addicts on island, but they were nice enough, just struggling with life. Remember, there are more good people than bad. And on Kauai especially, kindness reigns. Get your banks to cover most of the loss and chalk it up to just one bad experience across the decades. The best you can do is respond with Aloha.


  9. CommonSenseish September 30, 2019 9:56 am Reply

    behappy – laughing…. I’m sure if this person said the sky was blue, you would argue that it wasn’t. There are many chronic druggies on this island. The chances of a tourist stealing another tourists belongings and using their funds at Walmart and Safeway, come on now. Don’t be ignorant. All of us who live here know how bad it is. I lock my doors to grab my mail from the post office these days. Kauai has a bad problem and it’s only going to get worse. Especially with people like you who seem to be in denial.


  10. Joe Public September 30, 2019 10:30 am Reply

    “kama‘aina”? Your kidding right? How do you know it was a local? Typical haole discriminating against the locals. Do us a favor, stay in California where there is no crime or homeless, we really dont need you here.


  11. Christina Liem October 1, 2019 4:23 am Reply

    Most of my thoughts have been expressed above. Do not blame Kauai or it’s residents. In today’s world and times this could have happened anywhere on any given day. Keep your aloha spirit. Re: ID loss. I always travel with my drivers license AND passport. I keep my passport locked up in the safe, so I still have ID to return home, should this kind of thing occur. Also, a friend traveled to Kauai for a birthday celebration and had issues because his license had expired on his birthday! If he had taken his passport, it would not have been an issue.


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