DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Suspected bank robber Michael Rosario Sr. was escorted by officers into the police cellblock yesterday.
Boss turns in robbery suspect
Michael Rosario Sr. tells a TV station he has "Robin Hood syndrome"
Accused serial bank robber Michael Rosario Sr. was told by his boss there was a good chance police were going to be at his workplace when he went to pick up his last paycheck yesterday.
But he went anyway.
"He said he needed his final paycheck to go to Kmart to buy gifts for his two young boys to say a final goodbye because he knew he was going to turn himself in," said Rosario's boss, Jim Maynard, owner of Pacific Diversified Finishes Inc.
Members of Honolulu Police Department's Crime Reduction Units from Kalihi and Pearl City staked out Pacific Diversified's Sand Island Access Road office and arrested Rosario at 9:35 a.m.
Capt. Frank Fujii, HPD spokesman, said investigators got a "totally accurate" tip that Rosario would be in the area.
He was arrested in the July 14 robbery of Hickam Federal Credit Union in Kapolei and on a Family Court warrant for a closed hearing involving his 14-year-old son. A federal criminal complaint filed Tuesday names Rosario as the suspect in the July robbery, one in December and another one last month.
Honolulu police said the number of bank robberies in which they have positively identified Rosario as the suspect is up to 10, including the three in the federal complaint. The robberies date to last October.
Rosario chatted with police officers and news media outside the main cellblock.
He was asked if he was wearing one of his disguises.
"Kind of. ... Don't make me laugh. I don't want people to think I'm making one joke out of this. I know it's not that funny," he told KITV 4.
When asked if he thought he would get away with committing the robberies, he replied, "Yeah, I thought so."
Why? "'Cause I had good disguises," he said in the television tape.
Asked why he robbed banks, he told KITV, "Robin Hood syndrome."
At Pacific Diversified Finishes, Maynard said Rosario had been working for him part time for the past six years as a sandblaster and painter. The company repairs and refinishes boats.
When Rosario called Maynard at about 8 a.m. yesterday, Maynard told Rosario he would cash the paycheck for him and put the cash in one of the company vehicles for Rosario to retrieve. He then called police.
Former co-worker Miles Ahu and Maynard said Rosario was always short of money.
"He worked until lunch time and needed a loan for lunch," Maynard said. Maynard said he asked Rosario why he robbed the banks and that Rosario said he was burdened by having to pay multiple rents -- one for his estranged wife and two younger sons, another for his teenage son and a third for himself and his girlfriend.
Maynard said Rosario was a good employee who was very sweet and very considerate of his fellow employees. And Ahu said Rosario is not violent. They said they were shocked to learn he brandished a handgun in one of the robberies and threatened a teller with it.
Rosario used to serve in the Air Force, and he told Ahu that was what brought him and his wife to Hawaii from his native New York. The robbery suspect wore a military uniform in three of the heists.
Michael Rosario Sr.
Originally from: New York
Robberies he is formally accused of committing:
» Dec. 22: Central Pacific Bank, Waipahu
» July 14: Hickam Federal Credit Union, Kapolei
» Sept. 22: Central Pacific Bank, Keeaumoku Street