Stolen Backpack: Playing Detective in Kauai, Hawaii

Yeah, you’ve been saving up. Dreaming about the destination you want to go. The day has come. All set, ready to go. You landed your feet in your dream destination. Getting good pictures, updating status on social media, hiking, enjoying the nature, etc and halfway through the journey your backpack is stolen. What makes it worst is it is not simply a backpack with clothes, but also your passport: that little document entitling you to be where you are right now. Boom!!! The joy mode has now turned into panic mode.

That’s actually what happened to me several weeks ago. I was backpacking across three islands (Maui, Kauai, and Oahu) in the state of Hawaii. No passport needed to be honest but just for that extra caution, I decided to bring it. In general, all those three islands were amazing, A-MA-ZING!!! I favor Maui much compare to the other two. Oahu is too crowded and commercialized for me. That leaves one more island, Kauai. As you can guess, this is the island where my backpack was stolen.


Fourth day in Kauai, I woke up early saying goodbye to my travel buddy as he was heading to Big Island. I was off by myself that day and decided to pack all my stuffs as I will be leaving the next day to Oahu. I finished packing up, all nice and steady, I left my personal backpack right next to my duffle bag at the house I was staying. Rather than staying home wasting the possibility of exploring new place, I decided to walk out, get a proper lunch, hitchike, and come back a bit later before the fireworks started; it was the Fourth of July. I say “see ya later’ to the host of the house and there I left the house.

Stolen Backpack

Everything seems so fun until early evening that I got back, the worst thing I could ever think of is actually happening. My personal backpack is gone. The one I was carrying in the picture above (taken the previous day) IT IS GONE! You know, it is personal backpack, so all the personal stuffs are there — passport, iPad, headsets, a set of clothes, jacket, and some important documents. In the panic mode, I knocked on my host’s bedroom door and he has no clue of what’s going on but offered to help finding my backpack.

Find My iPad

No luck, seems like the person who took my backpack is smart enough to turn off the iPad.


What’s good about Kauai is it is actually really small. People seems to know each other or at least have seen each other. Apparently, the housing in Hawaii is a bit different from mainland. You can literally owned only one floor of the house. We walked to the second floor asking the neighbor if he had seen anyone sneaking in. Unfortunately, not!!! Instead, he said there was a camera installed months ago shining through the stairs to his house, which is actually located exactly above the main door of where I am staying.

The Video Guy

Video guy comes to the rescue. The camera caught the person entering the house and took my backpack on his way out walking TOWARDS the camera. Gotcha!!! Plus, as I said earlier, Kauai is small and apparently the neighbor knows this troublesome guy. Time to report it to the cops but it is Fourth of July.

Playing Detective

As crazy as it sounds, I got to get this thing done ASAP. My host is definitely an amazing guy. He accompanied me as he says he knew the area better than me (true.. very true). We met a guy strolling a baby halfway and asked if he has seen this guy and seems like he did. I was requested to stay home to avoid any conflict with the thief. I decided to have a chat with this neighbor and had a chat about this troublesome guy.

Fifteen minutes later….

I see a big guy carrying my backpack with the sunset in the background, walking towards where me and the neighbor is chatting. You know like those movie scenes that everybody loves. HAAAA!!!! That’s literally the sound that I made. I can’t thank my host enough and also the neighbor. I quickly browsed my bag. Passport is there, Documents are all there, iPad is there. I lost my watch, headsets, a T-shirt, and a jacket. Kinda sad but still better than losing everything. We spent the night watching fireworks together with tons of laughter.


The next day, right before I left, I submitted the footage to the cop. Guess it is time for the cops to play the detective game. Kauai failed to impress me but the people actually do. I love them. So friendly, so helpful, and so funny! An unforgettable experience. One last picture before saying goodbye to Kauai. Thanks for teaching me to always be cautious. I promised to never leave my personal bag out of my sight.

Kauai Beach


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