Is Honolulu Safe?

Is Honolulu Safe Following Amputation Attack at 7-Eleven

Honolulu, aka “The Big Pineapple,” is a culturally rich, complex city that is Hawaii’s equivalent to Manhattan island. In addition, it boasts beautiful beaches, fine dining not found elsewhere in Hawaii, and fascinating history that includes the only royal palace in the United States. Following this week’s strange attack at a 7-Eleven on Kalakaua Avenue, the main drag in Waikiki, we’ve had people ask us if Honolulu is still safe.

The suspect in the case, a 46-year-old man, has been charged with attempted murder after allegedly cutting off a man’s hand in the convenience store just after midnight on Friday using a sword. He is being held on $400,000 bail pending a court appearance this coming week.

Bystanders said a minor verbal disagreement occurred, after which a sword appeared that was used to sever the other person’s hand. It’s not been released if either the victim or the person arrested were ever employees of 7-Eleven and what connection if any, the two men had. This does not, however, appear to be an attack against a visitor, which is important to note.

Is Honolulu a safe city to visit?

In a Forbes article a few months ago, Honolulu was rated as the second safest city (of over 300k population) in the U.S. The first was Virginia Beach. Because there is very little in the way of violent crime in Honolulu, when something like this does happen, it makes the news quickly.

Your editors have, in total, spent a great deal of time in Honolulu over decades. Both of us said to one another that we rarely have, if ever, personally felt unsafe there. Mind you, there are sketchy places we probably wouldn’t walk at night, just like in any major city. That might include Downtown Honolulu, among others. There were also two occasions of questionable safety we recalled, one in a hotel parking lot in Laie where there was a brawl and another at a parking lot at a low-class Honolulu airport hotel. But other than that, nothing. You may have different stories to recount, and we welcome your input.

Crime in Honolulu is low, which is why it has been rated among the safest major cities in the U.S for years.

Tips to improve your safety in Honolulu.

Be wary of places where there aren’t a lot of other visitors. That could include less-trafficked beaches after dark, deserted side streets, and parking lots, to name a few. In general, most crime happens after dark, so it’s a crucial time to be cautious and not walk alone on streets where there are few people. If you are concerned about safety, have your phone on to stay in touch with family and friends, so they know your location.

Remain aware of your surroundings. The biggest problems in Hawaii tend to revolve around alcohol, and drugs, so watch for people who are intoxicated. These dealings can occur around isolated beaches, for example.

Waikiki at night is one of its charms. So we aren’t suggesting not going out at night. Waikiki is an enjoyable place to walk on your own with others around and in groups. Generally, we stick to areas with many other people everywhere to avoid even the remote possibility of getting into trouble.

Realize that petty theft is a common occurrence in Honolulu and throughout Hawaii. So do keep an eye on your belongings at all times. That includes not keeping valuables in your car.

The biggest dangers in Honolulu.

These aren’t crimes but rather a sunburn, injuries from hiking, snorkeling, jellyfish stings, car accidents, and jaywalking.

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46 thoughts on “Is Honolulu Safe Following Amputation Attack at 7-Eleven”

  1. Thank you. The incident with the hand occurred around the corner but was so isolated. Otherwise, I believe we are safe!!!

  2. Honolulu is a big city and comes with all that is implied. There are a range of activities that are truly fascinating. I’ve herd Honolulu described as, LA on a rock. I don’t think of it that way. I love the arts and all the money making. I grew up in LA and New York and know how to behave in a big town. Anyone visiting a big town should take a little time to learn what you shouldn’t do, maybe a short visit to the local police department.

  3. As a former resident & return visitor every year, it’s very unsettling. The rape in Manoa this past week was also a reminder to always be aware regardless of area or time of day/night.

  4. Listen, this can happen anywhere. There will always be bad apple’s amongst us. I am sure this incident is an “exception” and Not the norm in Honolulu. I wholeheartedly agree with BOH assessment.

  5. Here’s a safety tip: Just don’t go to Honolulu Fly to some other city and avoid Oahu altogether. You won’t miss it.

    1. Hello Jared X, as a well seasoned traveler your suggestion is quite odd. Why miss Oahu that has so much to offer the Tourists for other Islands that don’t? Sounds like more of a personal reason than a gracious suggestion. Advice like yours is certainly a “tell” and will Increase Oahu Tourism for sure! Keep up the Awesome Job.

  6. From personal experience, Waikiki can be a dangerous place late at night. According to the Police Dept, crime is often caused by young kids on drugs needing to feed their habit. Anyone in Waikiki after dark needs to keep their eyes open and be aware. It is not Disneyland.

    1. It’s more of a matter of which is worse. 7-11 stores have, for the most part, been the victim of crimes for as long as I can remember, whether outside or inside of the stores. As evidenced by this crime, things don’t change. A police presence, tried in certain areas, drove sales down and somehow crimes weren’t totally eliminated. The implications of “losing” a hand shouldn’t be lost on anyone, it will remind people to keep their hands out of others pockets! Was this a form of Private Messaging?

  7. Last time I was in Waikiki, October 2021, a person grabbed a ladies purse while seated at a crowded restaurant with outdoor seating. She said she had 3,000 dollars in it. She was probably targeted while shopping.
    It was by the Royal Hawaiian-very busy area. All high end shops and nice restaurants

    1. People believe that these crimes occur in other parts of town and to other types of people. Surprise, go ahead and flash your stash, you’ll surely be losing your cash! $3,000.00 is a nice grab, probably one of several that day that will provide many things to the discerning criminal. It can happen to anyone, why give someone reason? Cut out the “middleman” and the unbelievable feeling of loss and violation, I will give you my PO Box and just send me the cash, Please, I am even Courteous about it and the “Thank You ” is implied.

  8. I’d like to add that the 3 most dangerous crimes you’ll have to watch out for are the Hotel, Rental Car and Airline prices…while it may not be against the law it’s criminal what they do to us daily.

    1. Eh. I’ve found the cheapest airfares to Hawaii I’ve ever seen this year… $600-ish round trip from Houston. That’s like $300 less than I was paying regularly pre-pandemic. But, yeah, the government in general–in the form of super high taxes on everything from hotels to rental cars to $12,000,000,000 light rail projects (that only goes 20 miles)–is definitely not only picking your pockets but the pockets of the locals as well.

      1. Hi Roy, You’re Absolutely Correct! It’s a “Choice” that many have, Are, and Will make and comparatively speaking It’s the same as continuing to live on Islands that are High Cost Tourism Traps and Ceaselessly Complain about Tourists! At least Tourism, and all of the pluses and minuses that it brings, are providing a living for the Islands that is well above what it could be without it. (think “Better Huts and Lava Tube Living”) Close to the Truth!

  9. Hawaii as a whole should be very careful not to be desensitized to crime as is happening in major cities and states on the mainland. Criminals committing multiple and horrific crimes only to be released immediately by the DA’s and judges to do more harm. Your observation that it was “Not Against a Visitor” is an example of this desensitisation . A man’s hand was chopped off by a sword !!! Is that what you want to be passed off as normal or ok since it was not a tourist?

    1. I totally agree with your remarks. It’s sad that it was even mentioned that ” It was not a visitor ” . I’m sure the person whose hand was chopped off and his loved ones could care less that this was not done to a visitor. We need to quit labeling…..this was a human being who went through a terrible ordeal.

      1. If anyone were to bring up Race or Color predominantly it would be screamed about, it should be the Exact Same when they say something like that. It’s Irrelevant except for the investigation and possible Prosecution. Losing a Hand ✋️ is typically a punishment as well as a warning to others, it’s meaning in the criminal world is widely known. At least this person didn’t lose their head, no I’m not laughing. Hopefully this display is just a One Off and won’t be seen again, in this Economic Climate that is something that I can’t Promise. Hopefully someone else can and will. Move on, nothing else to see here.


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