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Friday, July 14, 2000

Use caution
with strangers,
police advise

Manoa residents are wary after
recent home-invasion robberies

By Rod Ohira


A recent series of home-invasion robberies and burglaries have disrupted the normally quiet valley life of Manoa residents.

Art Wednesday's home-invasion robbery on the 2300 block of Manoa Road was the second in four days where a gunman tied up a resident. A gunman had also tied up an 83-year-old woman in a home invasion July 4 on Makiki Street.

Shaun C. Rodrigues, 20, has been charged with Saturday's armed robbery on Oahu Avenue and is under investigation for 10 other incidents in the area since June 5.

Wednesday's suspect introduced himself to a 56-year-old housekeeper as a company's representative. She let him in, thinking he was the employee from a termite company scheduled to do an inspection that day.

Once inside the house, the man pulled out a gun and tied up the woman in the master bedroom. He fled with cash and jewelry.

The robbery occurred at about 11 a.m. and was reported to police after the woman freed herself two hours later.

The suspect is a clean-cut young Caucasian man, about 6 feet tall and 180 pounds. He was wearing a blue aloha shirt, khaki pants and white athletic shoes.

About 90 minutes before the Manoa Road incident, a break-in was reported at a nearby Ferdinand Avenue home.

"Entry into the home was made when the burglar alarm was tripped," robbery Detective Robert Cravalho said.

The suspect fled.

"We don't know if it was the same person but the homes are close to each other," Cravalho said.

He said police believe the suspect is a copycat or connected with Rodrigues.

When asked why Manoa Valley has become a hot spot, Cravalho said, "I can only speculate that it's because Manoa is an affluent area with older residents where culprits are less likely to face resistence."

Cravalho says residents should use caution when strangers come to their homes.

"See who it is first before opening the door," he said. "And always go with your gut instinct. If something doesn't seem right, go with the gift of fear."

Suspicious neighborhood activity should be reported to 911, says Cravalho.

E-mail to City Desk

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