Police say 7
bank robberies since
November likely related

By Rod Antone

Honolulu police suspect that two or more people working together may be responsible for robbing up to seven different banks since last November.

Police have noted similarities in bank surveillance camera photos and descriptions of suspects and said that the way they rob the banks are also similar.

"We believe that these bank robberies are related," said CrimeStoppers Detective Letha DeCaires. "There are similar descriptions, similar photos, even similar clothes."

The latest of the similar bank robberies took place yesterday at Bank of Hawaii's main branch downtown. The first one took place at the Waipahu branch of Central Pacific Bank on Nov. 16, 2001, police said.

Other cases police believe are part of the series include Friday's robbery of the Kaimuki branch of First Hawaiian Bank, the Aug. 29 robbery of the Kaimuki branch of American Savings Bank, the Aug. 27 robbery of the Liliha branch of American Savings Bank, and two bank robberies on March 8 -- one at the Waipahu branch of City Bank and another at an American Savings Bank in the Pearl City Foodland.

Looking at surveillance photos from each robbery, it is apparent that at least one suspect may be the same person who robbed several banks, DeCaires said. The descriptions of the suspect have also been similar: a male in his 30s to 40s, between 5 feet 4 and 5 feet 10, weighing between 160 and 200 pounds, with a mustache.

In two photos -- the Aug. 27 and the Aug. 29 robberies -- the suspect also appears to be wearing the same T-shirt.

The only robbery where the suspect appears to be a different person is yesterday's. The suspect in that case is described as a male in his 30s, 6 feet, about 170 pounds, with long dirty blond hair down to his neck and what police said was a "strong body odor."

Even so, DeCaires said, there appears to be a relationship between that robbery and the others. "We can't go into too many details, but we have recovered forensic evidence that leads us to believe that there is a connection," she said.

Honolulu Police Department

E-mail to City Desk


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
© 2002 Honolulu Star-Bulletin --