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Thursday, July 5, 2001



Car thief charged
in jewel robbery

Brandon Gouveia was on
parole when the Waipahu
robbery took place June 23


By Rod Antone
rantone@starbulletin.com

Honolulu police have charged a convicted auto thief with terrorizing Waipahu jewelry store workers with a crowbar last month.

Brandon Gouveia, 23, was charged yesterday with first-degree robbery after being arrested last week in Waikiki for a parole violation.

Honolulu police robbery detectives said Gouveia was linked to the stolen getaway car, which witnesses saw leaving the scene at Debbie's Jewelry at 94-050 Farrington Hwy. on June 23.

Police said there were a total of three male suspects involved: two who entered the store and a driver in the getaway car.

Police said Gouveia was identified by the store manager as the suspect who smashed the glass display case with a crowbar, grabbed the merchandise and threatened store workers and two children.

The second suspect acted as a lookout and helped gather stolen jewelry into a bag, according to police.

The robbery was captured on surveillance cameras, which show store employees and their children crouching behind the display case while the suspect identified as Gouveia shatters glass and waves the crowbar in the air.

Police said there are similarities between the June 23 robbery and another robbery at the same store three weeks prior.

Police said suspects in that robbery also used a crowbar to break into display cases. While police have not linked the robberies, employees of Debbie's Jewelry are taking no chances and are being selective about which customers get through the door.

"If they look suspicious, we don't let them in," said worker Michael Pham, who along with the store owner's brother, Scott Tran, gave chase to the suspects only to see them escape in an awaiting silver Audi.

Store officials estimated that a total of $45,000 worth of jewelry was stolen during the robberies.

Police said Gouveia's parole has been revoked and that he is being held at Halawa Correctional Facility pending his first appearance in court.

The second suspect, who acted as a lookout, is described as a male in his early 20s, 5-foot-8, about 200 pounds with a dark complexion and short brown hair, who was wearing a brown long-sleeve shirt.

Police have no description for the driver in the Audi.

Anyone with information about the two suspects at large are urged to call CrimeStoppers at 955-8300 or *CRIME on a cellular phone.



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