HPD addresses recent rash of armed robberies

Maj. Lester Hite, Honolulu Police Dept.

Police say there’s been an increase of robberies at businesses on Oahu this year, and they believe two or three different people may be responsible for the bulk of them.

At the Honolulu Police Department’s main headquarters on Beretania Street Friday, Maj. Lester Hite explained what the department knows so far.

One suspect has been robbing the convenience stores, according to Hite. That same man is suspected of robbing two establishments early Friday morning.

Then another suspect, also an armed robber, is hitting the fast food restaurants.

HPD says nearly two dozen stores have been robbed on Oahu in recent months, mostly convenience stores, including the Long’s Drugs in Manoa, which was robbed on July 1.

“We believe that is the same person who has been doing the other convenience stores,” Maj. Hite said.

Hite says the suspect has been good at hiding his identity by putting on some kind of disguise right before he goes into the store. “He typically wears a hooded jacket. Sometimes he wears a baseball cap or some other type of cap, but he covers his face,” he said.

The suspect covers his face with either a bandanna or a T-shirt and then runs out.

Police believe he jumps into a car, but nobody has spotted him doing that. “No one has been able to assist us with seeing someone run to get in a car and to drive off,” Hite said.

Recent fast food robberies

July 14: Jack in the Box, Waipahu
July 21: McDonald’s, Aiea
July 23: Wendy’s, Kunia
July 24: Wendy’s, Mapunapuna

As for the fast food robberies, such as Wendy’s and McDonald’s, police say there were nearly 10 of them in the same time period. That suspect is also well disguised and armed with some type of weapon.

“On one, he came in with a rifle. We think he used some type of metal or stick in another. He always has something,” Hite said.

The suspects for the convenience store and fast food robberies are strikingly similar. Both are described as short with slim builds.

But police believe they’re two different people because they have different mannerisms.

Hite says officers are doing more patrols of these types of businesses that are being targeted, but adds that HPD needs the public’s help to catch these criminals.

He advises people to trust their instincts and, if you see anyone with a hood or a mask on, to call 911.

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