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Teen charged as an adult in Oahu robbery spree


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POSTED: Saturday, March 14, 2009

A teenager who was 17 when he allegedly participated in a series of robberies, including four in one day, has been charged as an adult.

Prosecutors charged Tyson Liulama with four counts of first-degree robbery and two counts of second-degree robbery on Thursday. Bail was set at $150,000.

Family Court waived jurisdiction over the 18-year-old Liulama on Thursday, allowing authorities to charge him as an adult.

Police said Liulama acted as the driver of the getaway car in a robbery spree in October when he was 17.

On July 15, Liulama acting alone, allegedly robbed two women, ages 19 and 20.

On Oct. 25, Liulama and two other teenagers allegedly robbed a Waipahu service station, a Makiki restaurant, and two women in Waikiki over a period of about two hours.

The first suspect, an 18-year-old man, reportedly wearing a mask and wielding a knife, entered a Waipahu service station and demanded money, while a 16-year-old acted as a lookout.

When the service station employee was unable to open the cash register, the 18-year-old grabbed some cigarettes, and the two fled in a sport utility vehicle allegedly driven by Liulama, police said.

The three then went to a Makiki restaurant at about 5:25 a.m. and attempted to rob it.

The 18-year-old, again allegedly brandishing a knife, threatened to kill an employee if she did not open a safe, police said.

The employee screamed, and the suspects fled in a waiting SUV, allegedly driven by Liulama.

The three then traveled to Waikiki, where the 18-year-old and 16-year-old allegedly approached two women, ages 39 and 36, on the sidewalk at about 6:20 a.m.

They allegedly grabbed their bags and dragged them between 20 and 30 feet.

Liulama again allegedly drove the getaway car, police said.