Thieves lift generators from Hawaii shop during virus curfew

Security cameras filmed thieves stealing electric generators from a Hawaii equipment rental business during nighttime curfew hours.

The footage showed the theft from Hawaiian Rent-All in Honolulu around 4:30 a.m. Sunday.

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Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell instituted a curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. during Easter weekend to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The curfew was a trial with the possibility of an extension under consideration.

The cameras captured images of a pickup truck in front of the store about 40 minutes before the burglary, store manager Scott Jung said.

When the truck returned, three men with their faces were hidden by hoods hit the store’s shatterproof glass window with an ax and stole four generators.

Jung estimated the generators are worth about $4,000 and believes the thieves targeted the equipment because there is high demand for generators.

“I guess they saw an opportunity given that there is nobody around to do something in our building,” Jung said.

Potential thieves run a greater risk of being noticed by traveling during curfew when there are fewer vehicles on the road, Caldwell said.

“I’d be surprised if a curfew enabled criminals but we’ll look at the statistics and see what is the total number,” Caldwell said.

Jung believes said the curfew policy raises concerns.

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“I want to support the stay-at-home and curfew if it really helps us fight the virus right now, but there are consequences,” Jung said.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

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