Suspect pleads guilty to four robberies 09-21-04

PHONE: 961-2251
SEPTEMBER 21, 2004

Photo of William Paul Robinson

…pleads guilty to four robberies


A 37-year-old Puna man pleaded guilty Monday (September 20, 2004) in Hilo Circuit Court to four separate robberies last year in South Hilo and Puna.

The defendant, William Paul Robinson, pleaded guilty to four counts of second-degree robbery and was scheduled for a sentencing hearing on November 1, 2004, in Circuit Court.

Captain Samuel Thomas, head of the East Hawaii Criminal Investigation Division, said the guilty pleas culminated nearly a year-long robbery investigation by Detective Greg Esteban of the East Hawaii Criminal Investigation Section.

Robinson had been indicted by a Big Island grand jury for the June 1, 2003, robbery of a 45-year-old male victim in the parking lot of a video store in Hilo. In that incident, the robber used pepper spray to render his victim helpless.

In a plea-bargaining agreement with county prosecutors, Robinson also pleaded guilty to:

  • A June 17, 2003, robbery of the Home Street Bank in Hilo in which a lone male wearing a cloth over his head and a respirator covering his nose walked into the bank, brandished a knife and demanded money several times from the tellers. When the tellers ignored him, he climbed over the counter and tried to open locked drawers. Unable to obtain money, he eventually threw his knife down, ran out of the bank and was last seen riding away on a bicycle.
  • A June 24, 2003, robbery of the Waiakea branch of the Bank of Hawaii in which a masked man entered the bank, brandished a machete and approached a teller. The suspect climbed over the counter, opened a cash drawer and grabbed money from the drawer. He then approached a second teller, opened a second cash drawer and grabbed more cash. The suspect then left the bank with an undisclosed amount of cash and was last seen fleeing on a bicycle.
  • A July 29, 2003, robbery of the Pahoa Natural Groceries in which a lone masked man entered the office of the grocery store, brandished a firearm, demanded money and fled with an undisclosed amount of cash on a bicycle.

Police officers recovered the bicycles, all stolen, after the robberies were committed.

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