Masked man tries to rob Hilo convenience store employee

Police are investigating an attempted robbery that occurred early Tuesday, May 17, in Hilo.

Shortly after midnight, police received a report of a female yelling for help in the area of Leilani Street and Kanoelehua Avenue.

Responding officers determined that a masked male tried to rob a Minit Stop employee but fled after residents in the area came to her aid.

Police learned that as the 53-year-old female employee was accosted by the male suspect who demanded money before forcing her into her vehicle. The male suspect also entered the vehicle and forced the employee to drive from the store after he brandished an edged weapon. The female victim drove a short distance but was able to get the attention of nearby residents.

The male suspect exited the vehicle and was last seen heading north-bound on Kalanikoa Street. Officers conducting checks in the area were able to recover evidence believed to have been discarded by the suspect. Police have also recovered video surveillance from the store.

The female victim did not sustain any physical injuries during this incident, which is being classified as an attempted first degree robbery, first degree unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle, and kidnapping.

The suspect is described as a male in his late teens or early 20s, approximately 5 feet 6 inches tall, and 150 pounds with dark shoulder-length hair. He was last seen wearing a dark long-sleeved shirt and long shorts.

Police ask anyone with any information about this incident or anyone who may know the identity of the suspect to contact Detective Tuckloy Aurello at 961-2385 or

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island-wide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

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