COURTESY PHOTOS / CRIMESTOPPERS
At left is the suspect who robbed First Hawaiian Bank in Chinatown on Monday, while at right is the suspect who robbed the McCully branch of American Savings Bank on Wednesday. Honolulu police say Ellis Cleveland admitted to three of the four bank robberies in which he is accused.
Suspect admitted to bank robberies
A man accused of being a serial bank robber admitted to three out of the four crimes he's accused of, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court.
When a police detective told Ellis Cleveland, 38, that he was a suspect in four robberies, Cleveland blurted out, "four, I didn't do four, I only robbed three banks," according to a statement by Detective Taro Nakamura.
Prosecutors say Cleveland is a danger to the community and are asking that he be held without bail. A detention hearing is scheduled for Wednesday in federal court. He is also scheduled to appear on Jan. 18 for a preliminary hearing, according to court filings.
Cleveland is accused of robbing three banks and attempting to rob a fourth during a five-day crime spree beginning Dec. 29 and ending Wednesday with his arrest.
According to Nakamura's statement, the first robbery occurred on Dec. 29 when Cleveland handed a teller at the Makiki branch of First Hawaiian Bank at 1111 S. Beretania St. a note that read, "Give All The Money Nobody gets Hurt."
The teller identified Cleveland in a photographic lineup, Nakamura said.
Cleveland allegedly attempted to rob two banks on Monday.
He took $923 from the Chinatown First Hawaiian Bank branch after handing the teller a note that said, "Give me money and hurry up," according to the police statement. Cleveland's fingerprint was found on the note, according to the court documents.
Less than four hours later, Cleveland allegedly attempted but failed to rob the Bank of Hawaii at Ward Plaza, when the teller couldn't read the note. A teller and a witness identified Cleveland in a photographic lineup, Nakamura said.
Cleveland also allegedly robbed the McCully branch of the American Savings Bank of $1,555 on Wednesday. The teller in that case also identified Cleveland, according to the detective's statement.