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Wednesday, July 19, 2000

Woman robbed
in her St. Louis
Heights home

A 5-foot-4 man forces her at
gunpoint to lie on the floor
while he ransacks her
St. Louis Drive house

Manoa robbery suspect on trial

By Jaymes Song
and Treena Shapiro


A rash of home-invasion robberies apparently involving at least three suspects has some residents scared to open their doors.

The latest incident involved a 69-year-old homeowner who was robbed at gunpoint yesterday at her home on the 2000 block of St. Louis Drive.

"Who feels safe after something like this happens?" the woman said this morning. "They're targeting old people."

The woman spotted a man outside her home at about 9:30 a.m., police said. He attempted to ask her a question as she left to go shopping.

When she returned home an hour later, she was confronted by the same man, who was brandishing a silver handgun, police said. He ordered her to the floor as he ransacked the house. He then ran away with valuables.

The suspect is described as 5 feet 4 inches tall, 140 pounds, with black wavy hair and a medium build. He was clean shaven and was wearing a blue-gray aloha shirt.

That description is different from the description of a suspect in a Manoa robbery on July 12 in which a gunman robbed and tied up a housekeeper at gunpoint. The suspect in that case is described as 6 feet tall, 180 pounds, with dark hair and a fair complexion.

There have also been at least 10 burglaries in Manoa since June 5.

Shaun Rodrigues, 20, was apprehended and is being held in connection with a July 8 robbery when two women were tied up and robbed.

He is also being investigated for a July 4 incident in which an armed man robbed an 83-year-old Makiki woman. Manoa residents are organizing a neighborhood watch since the crimes.

"There are not enough policemen up here," said Betty Chamizo, who has lived at 2005 St. Louis Drive for the past 42 years. "Maybe they don't have enough to go around."

Since yesterday, Chamizo has noticed police patrolling her street more regularly. "They don't do anything until something happens," she said.

Chamizo said many homes on her block, including her own, have been burglarized over the years. "It's scary," she said. "But when my son is home, I feel safe." Her dog, though small, is loud enough to signal the arrival of strangers, she said.

Security systems are ineffective, she said. "Look what they do. Even if you have a security system, they come and disconnect it. Then what?"

Craig Inenaga said he and his neighbors talked about security issues yesterday and set up an informal watch system over each others' houses. He is especially concerned for his small children. "We're just going to be more careful."

David Van Treese, 49, said most of the neighbors have lived in the neighborhood for quite a while. "We know most of them pretty good," he said, including the victim.

As far as increasing security, he said he will "just kind of be more careful, watch people around."

Police advise residents to call 911 if they see any suspicious activity or people in their area.

If anyone has any information about robberies, call CrimeStoppers at 955-8300.

E-mail to City Desk

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