Social Question

tedd's avatar

How is this man not arrested already?

Asked by tedd (14013 points ) January 16th, 2012

Long story, so bare with me.

As some of you may remember, I went on vacation to Hawaii with my g/f last week. It was a great time, had a lot of fun. There was one hiccup, on our second day our car was robbed while we were at a beach.

We had gone on a morning hike to maunawili falls (which I highly recommend if you ever go… just don’t kill yourself), and taken a ton of pictures using our hosts (my g/f’s close friend and her husband) gopro waterproof camera. We had planned to spend a whole afternoon at nearby Kailua beach, but unfortunately our hike took a while so we swung by the beach for like 20–30 minutes, just so we could see it (and it is definitely beautiful). In an incredibly stupid move, we left the window cracked, and out two back packs in the back of the SUV (an older GMC jimmy).. thinking to ourselves “oh we’ll only be here for like 20 minutes..”

Well low and behold when we returned to the car, the back packs were gone from the back. Inside them were my g/f’s wallet, including $300 cash, id, credit cards, her medication, several random articles of clothing, a water bottle, and in our friends back pack (a camelback, military issued I believe) their waterproof gopro camera. Basically at this point we’re all pissed and think we’re screwed. A friend of our hosts who had gone along remembered there being a red van in the lot (the lot being slightly back from the beach and largely un-used), sitting with it’s door slightly cracked… which was now gone. So we call the police and while we’re waiting we scour the area hoping to find either thieves on foot or some of our stuff thrown out by the side of the road…

While waiting for the police, the red van in question from earlier returns, and parks in the same place.. proceeding to again crack his door and sit there. We go and ask the sole occupant (an overweight man of Hawain descent) if he saw anything (all of us extremely suspicious of him). He says that he didn’t see anything, and says stuff to the effect of “oh man that sucks, yah a lot of robbery around here lately.” Well the police arrive and take our report, and interview the guy in the red van. The officer says she’s familiar with the man and suspects he knows something, but after interviewing him she is less certain. Basically we are sent on our way fully realizing our stuff is probably gone for good.

Well the next morning we receive a call from the janitor at the Kailua post office. She says “you left your stuff in our drop box..” (like yah lady, THAT’S where we put our stuff!)...We don’t know what all is there, but included is my g/f’s cell phone (a cheap flip phone), her ids and credit cards, etc… They’re closed since it’s Sunday, but we can come by and get it Monday. So we go the next day and what was left was my g/f’s makeup bag (which was in her back pack). Inside we find her wallet, missing all $300 of course, ids, canceled credit cards, her medication.. and much to everyone’s surprise.. the $300 waterproof gopro camera. We have the police come out and we update the report, and we ask if they could check the post office security cameras. But they basically shrug off the idea (much to our dismay). Anyways we go about our day, Pearl Harbor that day.

When we got home the girls go and look at the pictures of our hike on the stolen-now-returned camera.. happy that at least they get to see that. Well much to their surprise there are two new videos on the camera.. with captions of a steering wheel for the icon. They click them to find our thief inspecting the camera… on video, in his vehicle. He even looks directly at the camera. It was, go figure, the guy in the red van. We all recognize him immediately. We quickly make a bunch of copies of the video, and then take one to the Kailua police department and give it to the officer who originally took our report. She puts it into evidence and assures us she’s going to show it to the detectives in charge of the investigation when they arrive the next morning. Everyone gets a good laugh about how stupid this guy must be.

Well several days pass and we hear nothing. My g/f and I arrived back home on Thursday, and still nothing. On Saturday, friends of our friends were at Kailua and saw the same red van, in the same parking lot. So naturally they call our friends out, and the police.. and the police show up and search the van.. sadly not finding any of our things… But this gets to the actual question you’ve been reading to find. The police didn’t arrest the man. They didn’t even question him… saying something about not questioning the man because it’s an ongoing investigation….. How on Earth is this an ongoing investigation? You have him on film, in his vehicle, with stolen goods in site in the vehicle on film… the film btw taken from a stolen camera…. How the hell is this guy not arrested on the spot????

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12 Answers

mazingerz88's avatar

Uhm, err, he’s…he’s just a twin of the guy that was caught on video?

marinelife's avatar

Police do not put much emphasis on property crimes with low financial amounts.

flutherother's avatar

Glad you got your stuff back. Sometimes things work a bit differently away from the big cities.

LuckyGuy's avatar

You are a tourist . He is a local and went to school with guys on the police force. Sorry, you lose.

It is up to you to make a stink about it and make it right. You need to warn everyone you can about this situation. I’d make a web page, post it on facebook , tumblr, etc. Go to Hawaii tourism sites and post your info there too. Tell the story three times. Once in a very short summary. Again with more details, and finally again explaining that you have not received any info from the Hawaii police. Show pictures of the car and the report with your name blanked out . Write to the police chief naming the officers. Copy the police chief. Make it factual and be sure to show pictures.

Why is he not arrested? Because he has not met someone like you! Go git ‘em! Make it right!

john65pennington's avatar

I understand why you feel this way and hopefully I can help to explain why no action was taken by the police.

Apparently, you are now home and cannot prosecute this person. If I am wrong, pls correct me. If you had lived in Hawaii, the man would have been arrested.

Going to court is the major problem here. You are the victim and not the police. You would have to sign a warrant and appear at least twice in court in Hawaii. I would see this being a hardship on you and the thief knows this. Flying to Hawaii vs the amount of the loss does not equal good common sense.

If the above is true, at least the police should have advised you of this.

Hope this helps to answer your question.

tedd's avatar

@LuckyGuy I don’t think this guy went to high school with any of the guys on the force. At least not that we were talking with. In fact the original officer who took our report was from the mainland originally. She said she had dealt with him before, but it was several years earlier while she was working on the opposite side of the island, informing us he had only recently moved to Kailua. Oahu, for being a small island, has well over a million people… it’s not exactly a small town good ol boy type of place.

@john65pennington We are home yes, but our friends who we were staying with live on Oahu and also said they would prosecute. They are the ones who got the cops to come out to the guy the 2nd time, when he wasn’t arrested despite the evidence on hand.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@tedd My point was not necessarily his high school. It was that you were outsiders.
He know he can get away with it. If you want to help the next people it is up to you to make a stink about it.

He is probably there now. waiting the the next suckers. Well not now, but he was.
Make noise. You have pictures and police reports. They are worth 10,000 words.
It is up to you to use real names, dates, times and locations so they show up on Google searches – and Google Alerts.
If I had been robbed and had the data you have, there would be a Facebook page in the perps name, with his photo telling the complete factual story.

wundayatta's avatar

Maybe they are working on more important cases. Property crime isn’t something that cops seem to take very seriously—at least in big cities. I dunno about tourist destinations.

Maybe the cops don’t work as fast in real life as they do on TV, It ain’t Hawaii Five-0, is it?

Zaku's avatar

Send an email to the local district attorney, copying your story above and how you have been talking to people on the Internet about it, and they suggested you might write the DA’s office about it.

I imagine someone cares, especially if the video might go viral on YouTube, mentioning your experience in their community…

Ron_C's avatar

The Hawaiian islands have a very closed society and no tourists are welcome. I was a frequent visitor to the island because my daughter and her husband were stationed there. There are three distinct groups that I saw. People working in the islands but not native there, tourists including many thousands of Japanese, and natives.

The majority of natives are either unemployed or under employed. I suspect that at least one of the cops was born in Hawaii therefore predisposed to be lenient with the thief. I suggest that you don’t lean on the cops too hard, they could easily turn against you and your friends.

By the way, if America continues on its current course, this class struggle will become the norm across the country.

tedd's avatar

UPDATE: Well our friends on Oahu finally got ahold of the detective in charge of our case. The detective said they really have no way to prove that the guy in the red van did it. Our friends of course asked “well what about the DVD we gave you?” The detective answered.. “What DVD??” Apparently it never even made it into evidence. Our friends took a new copy in and watched it with the detective. Apparently the cop who took our info (and coincidentally the DVD) claimed in the police report that they dusted our vehicle for prints (totally false). I don’t have further details yet on what else the detective said to these new revelations…. What can you law enforcement guys tell me?

LuckyGuy's avatar

Good move making a copy of the DVD.
This gives more credence to the “Hinano going to high school with Akoni” theory.
Clearly this is either a case of lying (fraud) or incompetence. Hmmm… Which one is better?
Thanks for keeping us informed. Now get busy blogging! You have an interesting and useful story to tell all visitors who are planning a future Hawaiian vacation.

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