EWA BEACH, Hawaii - An Ewa Beach Longs Drugs store came close to becoming the latest victim of theft after three women attempted to steal 18 cases of Spam. 

Kurt Fevella watched it all unfold while shopping Wednesday night.

"When I was in the cereal aisle in the corner of my eye I saw a wagon full of Spam." explained Fevella.

That’s when he went on spam surveillance, staking out the exit.

"I didn't say anything. I just stood by the door and the person that was trying to steal all the Spam just pushed the wagon and said ‘Here!’ " said Fevella.

He said the suspected culprits were three women, and described the runner as having short black hair and a tattoo on half of her back.

While the attempt to steal Spam may seem comical, theft is a major problem in Hawaii. According to Retail Merchants of Hawaii, it’s something that’s especially prominent with canned goods.

"We're seeing it more and more and there's a lot more volume being taken out of stores now.  It's a combination of felony charges have gone from $300 up to $750.  So now if you steal $750 it's a felony. So people are stealing right up underneath." Said President of Retail Merchants of Hawaii Tina Yamaki.

Yamaki says unfortunately, it's turned into a black market commodity.  Often the stolen items are re-sold at places like swap meets, or even right out of the back of cars.

She explained there's a typical method.

"There's always someone who's trying to distract from the person who's stealing the things, so security will look at the and person distracting and then they'll go.” Said Yamaki.

You'll notice in stores, many items are now locked up because they're stolen so often.  Other frequently stolen items include clothing, electronics, high-end liquor, and tobacco.

The theft isn’t only bad news for retailer’s pockets, but shoppers as well.

"It's really unfortunate for the people of Hawaii because the prices go up and it's also unfortunate for the retailers as well." Said Yamaki.

Retail Merchants of Hawaii says if you ever see someone trying to steal something, tell a manager or worker immediately.

The women didn’t end up stealing the Spam, but did escape with bags full of other product.

The incident is still under investigation.