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Man charged in department store robbery 04-25-14

Hawaiʻi Police Department
Criminal Investigations Section, Area I
Lieutenant Gregory Esteban
Phone: 961-2252
Report No. C14010363


Media Release (update)

Hawaiʻi Island police have located two persons seen in surveillance images and wanted in connection with a robbery at a department store in Hilo on Good Friday (April 18).

On Tuesday (April 22) the two turned themselves in at the Hilo police station. Police arrested 19-year-old Obed Kamanao Kuahiwinui Jr. of Hilo on suspicion of robbery and theft. He was taken to the Hilo police cellblock while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continued the investigation. A 15-year-old girl was arrested and released to her parents without charges.

At about 5:45 p.m. Wednesday (April 23), after conferring with prosecutors, detectives charged Kuahiwinui with second-degree robbery and fourth-degree theft. His bail was set at $5,250. He made his initial court appearance on Thursday (April 24).

On April 18 at 12:09 p.m., a female patron was observed concealing an item and then exiting a store in a shopping mall on Puainakō Street without paying.

After store employees confronted her and a male companion outside the store and attempted to escort them inside, the male companion threw one of the employees to the ground, causing injuries to his head and ribs. The pair then fled the area on foot in the direction of Makaʻala Street.

Their images captured on video surveillance were instrumental in the investigation.