Teens accused of intimidating Chinatown store owners

Published On: Aug 29 2013 05:08:00 PM HST

Intimidating store owners and frightening away customers. Some Chinatown business owners say a group of youngsters are up to no good.

Store owners on Maunakea Street say they are tired of getting bullied. They say the threats are all from one group of young teens who enter their stores looking for trouble.  

"It's a group of teenagers I want to say, ages 8 to 11, they are really young and really short. I don't even think they are 4 feet tall," said Jamie Rowland with Shirley's Flowers.

"They don't need a hair cut. They just look around, you can see they want money" said Terry Wong with TW Salon.

"I told them, get out! But they didn't leave," said Feng Li with Cute Cut.

Li said a group of more than five teenagers came into her store intimidating her and her customers. She said it's happened twice, the teens demanding money, refusing to leave until she threatened to call the police, though she never did.

Many of the business owners didn't believe the police would respond in time to help, so many of those crimes were left unreported.

"I never call the police," said Wong.

"If the police don't know what's happening and where it's happening and they aren't able to follow up, does that solve the problem? It just occurs repeatedly over and over," said Mayor of Honolulu Kirk Caldwell.

Caldwell says police are investigating the incidents. But, with the start of school, he believes the teenagers will be out of Chinatown, and back in class, leaving these merchants free to get back to business.

He also says merchants need to protect their own property, making sure they do not leave their store unattended.


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