Customers React to Theft at Kīhei Batting Cages

March 5, 2016, 9:34 AM HST · Updated March 5, 9:34 AM
Kiaora Bohlool · 0 Comments
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Ty Roberts of Kīhei made it a priority to bring his business to Hitter’s Paradise two days after the owner reported a break-in at the small, family-friendly batting cages and pro shop off Pi‘ilani Highway in Kīhei.

“Hearing about what happened to a friend of the league’s, part of our little community in the Maui Adult Baseball League, that just made it all the more important — I’m not going to waiting till tomorrow; I’m doing it today,” Roberts says.

Roberts tells me he knows Hitter’s Paradise owner Paul Skarbo because the two compete in the Maui Adult Baseball League, and he wanted to show his support.

“As much as I enjoyed beating the Centipedes last week, nobody wins when a business gets destroyed,” he says.  “We depend on these guys!”

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    Hitter's Paradise batting cages in Kīhei. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Hitter’s Paradise batting cages in Kīhei. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Bats at Hitter's Paradise in Kīhei. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Bats at Hitter’s Paradise in Kīhei. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Hitter's Paradise employee Jack Klingman and customer Ty Roberts at the cash register, which the owner says was found on the ground after the theft. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Hitter’s Paradise employee Jack Klingman and customer Ty Roberts at the cash register, which the owner says was found on the ground after the theft. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Taking swings at Hitter's Paradise in Kīhei. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Taking swings at Hitter’s Paradise in Kīhei. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Award for Hitter's Paradise batting cages in Kīhei. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Award for Hitter’s Paradise batting cages in Kīhei. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Pool table and batting cages at Hitter's Paradise. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Pool table and batting cages at Hitter’s Paradise. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Games and television at Hitter's Paradise batting cages in Kīhei. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Games and television at Hitter’s Paradise batting cages in Kīhei. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

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    Skarbo told Maui Now’s Wendy Osher that two male suspects broke into the business, stealing around $500 in cash and $1,200 in merchandise like bats and gloves.  He also said they caused up to $800 in damage and took more than 300 tokens, good for 15 swings each.

    “We know they might come back with the tokens that they stole, it might be kinda weird to see them again, come up right to my face,” says employee Jack Klingman, who’s worked at the batting cages for about a year.

    The damage was quickly cleaned up, and the batting cages are open this weekend starting at 10 a.m. to welcome customers.  Along with the cages, there’s a pool table, games and television, along with a free bouncy castle on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

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    Klingman says a few customers, like Roberts, have come in after hearing about the break-in, and he’s hoping for a busy weekend.

    “It’s a big deal,” he adds.

    Learn about potential suspect descriptions and more in Wendy Osher’s story here.

    Kiaora Bohlool
    Kiaora Bohlool has been a journalist since 1998. With chefs in her family, she has a lifelong appreciation for food...

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