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Big Island Car Break in's

tallahassee, florida
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Big Island Car Break in's

I've been reading all the warnings about protecting yourself when on the big island from car break in's....I plan to take every precaution possible, but just wondered how often/recent this occurs? I don't recall reading a post where someone actually had a problem unless I missed it.

If you have had a problem or know someone who has had a problem with thieves breaking into cars while you were on the BI, it would be nice to know some of the details....what time of day, what area, what you did as far as reporting it and exchanging cars, etc?

Not to put a damper on everyone's trip, but just wanted some kind of guage as to "how often" this actually occurs even with all the warnings.

BigIslandFever

Portland, OR
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1. Re: Big Island Car Break in's

BigIslandFever,

I just responded to your other post. But I have been broken into twice on the BI and my brother, who still lives in Kurtistown, 3 times. My 1969 Mach 1 Mustang was broken into while I was in HS for a crappy portable stereo. They broke the baby window (which was really hard to replace!) Definitely NOT a rental car though. The second time was my rental, this time a slim jim (scratched the chrome along the edge) and popped the door lock for approx 32 cents in coins in the cup holder. My bothers truck was broken into using a coat hanger and his rod and reel and my dad’s .22 was stolen. It happens. The further away from population centers one goes the better chances it has. There was a post in the Maui forum about a month and a half ago about this and some people posted they were broken into.

Good luck and happy travels!

Island of Hawaii...
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for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
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2. Re: Big Island Car Break in's

my car was targeted in March, in my driveway, unlocked. Of course when I lived in California my car was broken into twice, my neighbor's car was stolen from her driveway, and everyone I knew had their cars broken into. In balance, it seems way better here!

Oahu and Maui are worse than the Big Island, where tourists are targeted. Here it seems the residents are targeted as much or more!

I have never had someone mess with my car in a parking lot here.

I don't leave my car parked alone.

The waterfall parking lots seem to have regular thief patrol. Not sure why exactly. That includes Akaka, Rainbow, and Boiling Pots.

I would be wary if you visit Lava Tree. No problem at VNP. For one thing you have to pay an entry fee ... thieves don't like.

So far I've never had a problem at the beach parking on the west side. However I'd stay away from Spencer.

The most likely time for a break-in is at night. Secure your car at night. If staying in big hotel, you're good. If in condo, not gated complex, ask the manager for any history of problems, maybe?

Kauai & Mainland
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3. Re: Big Island Car Break in's

Lava Tree SP in Puna was the ONLY place I felt really uneasy leaving the car. There were other locations in Puna too, like at Kaimu beach's "trailhead."

HVP, as said, is fine. We had everything in our car that day and had no problems. It's mostly tourists and the admission fee pretty much weeds out most folks looking for trouble.

The only other location I'd be careful with is Waipio Overlook's parking lot really early or really late. There are very few cars there at either time. Pololu seemed fine however.

Southern Belle
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4. Re: Big Island Car Break in's

Locals, we stayed in a private rental home in Kailua-Kona last month for a week and the owners said not to bother with locking house doors when we leave. They live in the area too and have no problems whatsoever. Was shocked at first but after a day or two, we got used to it (not good since we had to go back home to a big city!) and had no incidents during our stay. Maybe the east side has more incidents, and/or the thieves target tourist spots mainly in the west side? Or no pattern whatsoever, eh? Now I regret not locking the doors, but we had no bad outcome though.

Island of Hawaii...
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for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
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5. Re: Big Island Car Break in's

sunbasking,

the thing is you're comparing two completely different crimes that are apples and oranges.

Entering into a house, locked or not, is much more serious. There may be people, guns, dogs, an alarm ... very risky crime, only for the desperate person or criminal who's ready to hurt someone.

Breaking into cars is a very low risk crime and the police here make pretty much zero effort to catch the culprits unless they're caught in the act. The police take a report if you call them -- so you can file an insurance claim, not so they can investigate. As you can imagine the car thieves aren't too stressed out ... and proceed to the next car.

In California, I think every one on my street had a car gone through, rifled, broken into or stolen. Not one of them had a house burglary. Actually it was the best and safest neighborhoods that had the most car burglaries -- better cars and stereos!

It's good advice to watch where you park your car here, because when you slip up and are careless, you can lose important things, perhaps your camera with photos from your whole trip, that you can't get back.

Oddly, when we went to the Cook Islands we found the reverse, local thieves were really good at rifling vacation rentals ... we left our vental unlocked one time for half an hour and it was hit. But we had no problems with our rental car. Different culture!

tallahassee, florida
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6. Re: Big Island Car Break in's

Well, all this is certainly VERY GOOD INFORMATION to have. Especially about parking near Lave Tree which we had planned to visit...I"ll be sure to keep a close watch on things, or just skip it all together if it looks risky....

Although it seems as if the car thiefs are all over and I'll just have to be on guard for 10 days....something I'm not use to at all here....I've been driving 31 years and have never had a problem....

BigIslandFever

Portland, OR
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1,886 posts
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7. Re: Big Island Car Break in's

Don’t stress over it though. Take all valuables with you. A small backpack helps me when I go, I just leave everything of value in it and it is always with me.

Sunbasking – growing up in Hilo, we only locked the doors when were going to be gone for a while, not b/c of thieves (which are everywhere in the world) but so when family and friends came over and tried the door they knew we were not home! Different world now though, I would not think of not locking the doors at my parents house when we leave or go to bed.

Good luck and happy travels!

Island of Hawaii...
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for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
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8. Re: Big Island Car Break in's

BigIslandFever,

no no, the island isn't crawling with car thieves, we don't mean to give you that impression. The last thing I'd want you to do is stress out on your vacation. There are SOME bad apples on the lookout for easy pickings and they know the parking lots where tourists are stopping and going off on trails. So just play it smart but don't worry.

Most people I know on the mainland are used to locking their vehicles and being sure not to leave temptation in sight. It sounds like you come from an area where no one does that? Lucky you!

Lava Tree -- is worth seeing. But when you do your Puna sightseeing you shouldn't have anything valuable in your car. Pack daypacks for walking that can hold wallets and you'll want your camera with you for the photo ops.

For women, leave the main purses at your lodgings except for going shopping, and instead go out with a small carrying purse that's easy to walk with and your daytrips will be carefree. Leaving a purse in the car trunk isn't a great idea although to be honest I do it ... but my car has a nice loud alarm so if anyone tried to slimjim it it would go off. Not all rental cars have alarms. Some do.

st paul, mn
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9. Re: Big Island Car Break in's

We just got back from 2 weeks and no problem. Alamo/national? put scan tags on back side windows which basically say I am a rental. Others put on inside of door. Vehicle inspection sticker on back bumper also say I am from area of rental cars so hard to avoid. go when busy. locals maybe at beaches during day but evenings are theirs. Make a duplicate key for your auto at kmart as usually only given one.

10. Re: Big Island Car Break in's

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