Police ask public for help with rash of armed robberies

Police say it will take help from the public to catch the suspects behind a rash of armed robberies of fast food restaurants, convenience stores and banks.

They want people to be on the lookout for anything suspicious.

KHON2 asked Maj. Lester Hite of the Honolulu Police Department why suspect sketches or surveillance video have not been made public.

He said while HPD does have surveillance video, it’s of no use, because they can’t see a face or any other characteristic of the criminal.

When asked what he would tell people who don’t feel safe right now, Maj. Hite responded, “Just be aware of your surroundings. This is a technology era. There are a lot of people walking through parking lots, paying attention to their cell phone. They’re texting. People just need to be more alert and aware.“

That’s why he advises businesses to invest in a good security camera system and have someone who can download that video quickly.

“Always have someone available who is trained to retrieve video footage. Investigators waste valuable time when they have to wait for someone to download the video,” he said.

He also says businesses should not obstruct windows with large posters and make sure they balance interior and exterior lighting of their shop.

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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