CSI Waikiki: DNA used to find robbery suspect
DNA from iced tea ices suspect in Waikiki robbery
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A robbery suspect who left his iced-tea can at the scene of the crime faces federal charges thanks to a DNA matchup worthy of a TV whodunit.
DNA from the can was matched to DNA recovered from a cigarette smoked by the suspect, Preston K.S. Sakuma, a jobless drug user, according to court documents.
The U.S. attorney on Monday charged Sakuma with the robbery of an Internet cafe on Kalakaua Avenue. He later admitted to robbing three Waikiki businesses June 25 to 27.
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Like a scene from a television crime drama, Honolulu police matched DNA samples to link a suspect to the robbery of a Waikiki Internet cafe.
Honolulu police arrested Preston K.S. Sakuma, 35, Friday in connection with the robbery of two Waikiki businesses on June 25 and 26. Sakuma lives nearby on Seaside Avenue.
Police turned the case over to the U.S. attorney, who charged Sakuma on Monday with the June 25 robbery of Internet cafe K2K on Kalakaua Avenue.
When questioned by authorities, Sakuma admitted robbing three Waikiki businesses between June 25 and 27, said Rachel Moriyama, assistant U.S. attorney. In each robbery, Sakuma gave the cashier a note that indicated he had a gun, though none was seen, she said.
In the K2K robbery, Sakuma bought a can of iced tea from the cashier and drank it while he waited until he was the only customer in the establishment, according to court documents. He then handed the cashier the note asking for all the money in the register and told her several times that he was serious and armed.
Sakuma then told the cashier, a 19-year-old woman, to get on the ground and count to 10, according to police records. He fled with an undisclosed amount of cash.
In the course of the investigation, an HPD criminalist conducted an analysis of DNA recovered from the iced-tea can and DNA recovered from a cigarette smoked by and recovered from Sakuma, according to court records.
Members of HPD's Crime Reduction Unit arrested Sakuma at his home without incident.
At Sakuma's detention hearing yesterday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Kurren released Sakuma on a $25,000 signature bond. Conditions of his release include electronic monitoring and supervision by Sakuma's partner.
Just prior to robbing the businesses, Sakuma had lost his job, his rent was due and he was using drugs, Moriyama said.