E-bikes targeted in brazen break-in

KAPOLEI (HawaiiNewsNow) — Electric bicycles, commonly referred to as e-bikes, are growing in popularity as gas prices soar.

But they are also becoming popular among thieves, who seem to be more organized to get what they want.

E-Bike Hawaii’s Kapolei location has been burglarized four times in the two years since it opened. But the last two times actually happened in the last two weeks alone.

Surveillance video shows a break-in that happened on April 27. Two men are seen pulling into a truck and then using large rotary saws to cut through a steel door at the back of the store.

Both are capable of cutting an opening large enough to squeeze through. They then quickly leave with four electric bikes.

“They stole vehicles very similar to this one. These are the electric off-road motorcycles. They’re all the rage right now in Hawaii,” said e-Bike Hawaii’s Jay Bitar.

Each of the bikes costs five to six thousand dollars or mroe.

“They knew exactly what they wanted because that’s exactly what they were looking for,” Bitar said.

It’s a tempting target.

“These e-bikes, they are definitely gaining popularity and a lot of people want them, and these criminals know – they know they’ll get some nice black market currency if they know where to sell these,” said Sgt. Chris Kim of Crimestoppers Honolulu.

The break-in is similar to one that took place last December, when thieves slammed into the back of a pickup truck to enter Hawaii’s Segway, also getting away with four bikes.

It’s a type of crime that’s on Crimestoppers Honolulu’s radar.

“We actually find that they seem to be a lot more orchestrated, they definitely work as a team,” Kim said. “It looks like they are planning these things.”

E-Bikes Hawaii was hit again early Friday morning as thieves broke through the front door.

“Most of our items are placed in our warehouse section, so they couldn’t grab much this time around other than doing thousands of dollars of damage here and stealing all the helmets they could grab,” said Bitar said.

Bitar said he was told the truck used in the heist was stolen, along with the saws.

It now spends an extra 30-45 minutes at closing time in an effort to make entry much more difficult.

“We’re ‘zombie proof,'” Bitar said. “At the end of the evening, we are going to bring this (forklift) up. We are almost preparing for war. It’s like that now, like it happens. »

Bitar’s business closing ritual now involves stacking heavy wooden pallets and parking the company truck as close to the steel door as possible to block it from the outside.

He then backs the forklift up to the door to block it from the inside.

The police are still looking for the suspects.

“People now come and take what they want,” said a frustrated Bitar. “Almost every week it feels like everyone is affected and there are no consequences for their actions.”

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