Chinatown diner burglarized early this morning

Downbeat Diner is asking for the community's help in recovering a safe stolen early today.

Ikaika M Hussey

“Keep your ear to the ground.”

That’s what Serena Hashimoto is asking the community to do after the Chinatown bar she co-owns, Downbeat Diner, was robbed early this morning.

The bar’s safe was stolen at at 4 or 5 am, she said. Thieves apparently disabled power to the building from the outside, crawled down the exhaust hood, and took security cameras.

Hashimoto doesn’t see today’s burglary as linked to the problems of chronic drug abuse and houselessness that have plagued the Chinatown area.

“If it were someone stealing booze, maybe. But with the level of thought and planning, it’s not crackheads on the street. It’s a different type of crime,” Hashimoto said.

Hashimoto speculates that the lack of police attention in the area for drugs and vagrants could make it attractive for criminals.

“Clearly we’re not cared for,” she said.

Josh86, the bar’s co-owner, notes that Downbeat is the tenth Chinatown bar in the last two years to be burglarized.

Downbeat opened nearly two years ago, on New Year’s Eve 2011. In that time, the business has become a fixture of the burgeoning downtown arts and culture scene.

“It could have been worse,” Hashimoto said, adding, “I’m counting on collective goodwill.”

Persons with information on the burglary can contact the Maunakea Street police substation by calling 529-3932.

Updated to fix typographical errors