Robbery suspect pepper sprays Honolulu store worker

Pipeline Smoke Shop in Honolulu has been in business for 13 years, and for the first time on Tuesday night, a violent robbery took place.

Police have opened a robbery case, and so far no suspects have been arrested.

KHON2 talked to Pipeline employee Robert Garcia who says he was pepper sprayed during the crime. Garcia says the incident happened about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday when no other customers were around.

Garcia says a young man wearing a hat came into the store with two other guys. Garcia asked him for identification, but the man refused.

“At that point, when he seemed like he was about to leave the store, he pulled out pepper spray and sprayed it at me,” said Garcia.

Garcia says the surveillance video shows the man trying to spray him again. Then the man knocks over a display case, shattering a bunch of products.

“It wasn’t like they were trying to rob, trying to forcefully take anything,” he said.

Garcia said the man took a handful of merchandise before running out the door.

Garcia was the only one working at the time, but the shop manager says they will be looking into having two employees work together for more safety.

Garcia says he won’t let fear take over.

“I don’t think it should stop us from running our business how we want to run our business,” he said.

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