Neighbor shocked
she chatted with
leisurely burglar

A burglar apparently felt no big rush as he robbed a Manoa home on Saturday, hanging out for about 12 hours and casually chatting with a neighbor.


Burglary suspect: The man appeared to be in his 20s, 5-foot-6 or taller, 140 pounds, blond

The neighbor, Esme Hammerle, said she could kick herself for not calling police sooner, but had thought the suspect might be a friend of the tenant whose university-area home was burglarized.

"He seemed really relaxed," said Hammerle, 23. "I kind of think he was a little tweaked."

Neighbors saw the man between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. at the Manoa home, police said.

There have been several burglaries in Manoa in the past week, and police say there might be more than one suspect operating in the area.

Hammerle said that at about 3:30 p.m. Saturday, she looked out her window and saw a man on a walkway between her neighbor's duplex and the street.

When she went outside, the man approached and asked if she knew someone with a common man's name. Then he asked for a cigarette.

A few hours later, Hammerle went into her back yard and saw the same man. "At this time, I really got weirded out," she said.

She said she kept calling her neighbor's cell phone to ask about the man, but could not reach her. She later learned the suspect had taken a stool out of the garbage, put it against the neighbor's bedroom window, removed the screen and climbed in.

The suspect left through the front door carrying a plastic bag with a few small items, then sat on the front wall as if he were waiting for her to return, Hammerle said. "He just left nonchalantly," she said.

That was when she finally got through to her neighbor, who rushed home and called police.

The victim, who did not what to be identified, said, "It's very disturbing. You get a call from somebody, 'I saw somebody in your apartment.'"

She has lived in the duplex for five years and had felt safe. The incident has left her and Hammerle on edge.

"Now everybody's in shock," Hammerle said. "It's a relatively quiet area."

The victim spent the night at Hammerle's home. She contacted the neighborhood watch group and got tips as to what to do. The next day, she and Hammerle installed louver and sash locks on their windows and are looking into installing dead bolts.

What disturbs Hammerle is that the suspect had the nerve to approach her nonchalantly in broad daylight and showed a blatant disregard for the law.

"Either he was on drugs or, like, overly confident, overly stupid or thought I was overly stupid," said Hammerle. "I'd like to see him caught, prosecuted, sent to jail."

The suspect is described as in his early 20s, between 5 foot 6 and 5 foot 8, 140 pounds, with large ears, dirty blond hair and long sideburns. He wore a navy blue baseball cap backward, a short-sleeve gray shirt with a gray design and dark-blue athletic shorts.

Anyone with information can call CrimeStoppers at 955-8300 or *CRIME on a cell phone.

Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers

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