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Crime rates, concerns growing in Ala Moana area

By Paul Drewes
Published On: Apr 02 2013 06:53:14 AM HST

A popular part of Honolulu usually attracts a crowd at night, but lately there is concern it is also attracting more crime.

HONOLULU -

A popular part of Honolulu usually attracts a crowd at night, but lately there is concern it is also attracting more crime.

Elliot Okamura spends a lot of time walking around the Ala Moana area as part of the citizen's patrol. He doesn't like what he's been seeing lately --more graffiti.

"We can come out and re-paint this building tonight, and the graffiti will come back in three days. It's a real battle now," said Okamura.

Okumura added graffiti is a sign that people don't care about their community and the writings on the wall invite more crime.

Honolulu Police statistics for March show the Ala Moana area has three-four times the number of thefts and stolen vehicles than other parts of Honolulu.

The number of recent violent crimes has also raised concern.
The latest was a stabbing near the McDonald's on Keeaumoku Street Sunday morning. The violence sent a young man to the hospital in serious condition.

Police arrested Richard Lam for attempted murder in the case.
HPD also released a statement which said," Officers are looking into the recent incidents to determine whether additional resources are needed in the area."

Some residents have expressed concern over the large number of lounges and places where liquor is served until early in the morning.

The recent rash of crimes has made some uneasy to walk around at night, while others worry the wrongdoing could keep escalating if something isn't done soon.

"I'm a man, I don't get scared at night, but sometimes I look behind my back because there are too many people walking around in the shadows," said Okamura.

Police are still looking for the suspect involved in another late night fight and stabbing along Keeaumoku Street. Two men were injured in that incident, which happened two weeks ago.

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