Police collar suspect in 4 Maui bank heists
He is being held in lieu of $200,000 bail and is due in court Monday
A Maui man is set to appear Monday in Lahaina District Court on charges stemming from a string of bank robberies in West Maui.
James C. Thobe, 47, of Kaanapali is charged with four counts of first-degree robbery for his alleged involvement in four separate incidents at three different banks over three months.
The latest robbery was reported at 3:20 p.m. Monday at the American Savings Bank on Papalaua Street. Lt. Chad Viela of the Lahaina Criminal Investigation Division said the suspect approached the teller, furnished a note demanding money, took out a small device and left with $866.
It appeared that the suspect was "trying to pass off the device as if it were an explosive," said Viela, who described the contraption as a small box wrapped in black electrical tape with wires and a pager attached.
Thobe also is charged with:|
» The robbery of the same American Savings Bank branch on March 10, during which a suspect escaped with $3,965.
» The May 14 robbery of Territorial Savings Bank at the Old Lahaina Center, in which more than $1,000 was taken.
» The May 30 robbery of the Bank of Hawaii branch at the same shopping complex, in which $695 was taken.
Patrol officers located a mo-ped matching the description of one connected to the incident at a condominium complex off of Wainee Street. Police traced the mo-ped to Thobe and arrested him Tuesday after conducting overnight surveillance of the area.
During a search of his residence, police said, they recovered items connected to the other robberies.
In each robbery the suspect was wearing a cap and sunglasses, presented a note demanding money and pulled out a device resembling an explosive. All of the robberies occurred between 3 and 5 p.m. at banks located within a half-mile of each other.
Thobe is being held in lieu of $200,000 bail.