Investigation underway after armed suspects rob popular Kailua market

A popular market in Kailua was robbed at gunpoint Sunday night and it was all caught on camera.

It happened just after 9 p.m. at Kalapawai Market on Kalaheo Avenue. It was just after closing time.

No one was hurt, but the suspects made off with a lot of cash.

Managers told KHON2 the employee is okay but extremely shaken by the robbery.

Two suspects walked inside wearing masks and gloves and went straight for the register.

“Basically the guy stuck a gun in her face and just told her to close her eyes and sit down, and they started emptying the cash register,” said general manager Eric Dobrinski.

Within seconds, the suspects were gone. We’re told they got away in a car that was waiting nearby.

Another employee who was in the back wasn’t hurt.

We’re told the market was robbed by someone armed with a rifle years ago, but this latest robbery marks the third time management has called police just in the last week.

There were two other incidents at nearby Kalapawai Cafe and Deli on Kailua Road. In one case, a man assaulted an employee.

“There was a guy in the street being rowdy and he was trying to calm him down because he was a threat to the customers basically, and the guy actually struck our wait staff,” Dobrinski said.

Management says it’s concerned the crimes are getting worse and the suspects are getting bolder.

KHON2 reached out to Honolulu police and it turns out armed robberies are up in Kailua. So far this year there have been four reported armed robberies compared to just two in 2016.

“I’m just wondering at what point do they become bold enough to actually put somebody in a lot of hurt? Either they could seriously injure somebody or for someone to die,” Dobrinski said. “I’m hoping it doesn’t come to that, but I really think we need to start working on a solution before it comes to that.”

HPD said it’s increasing patrols in the area.

If you have any information about the robbery, you’re asked to call police.

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