Hawaii Island police are investigating two recent armed robberies in the Kona area.
The first robbery occurred on Tuesday in the parking lot of a home improvement store at 73-5598 Olowalu St. in Kailua-Kona, according to the Hawaii County Police Department. Police responded about 2:18 a.m.
An 18-year-old Ocean View man and a 30-year-old Ocean View man told police they were in a parked white Ford F-150 pickup truck with Alaska license plates when a black Toyota Tacoma pulled up. The Tacoma’s passenger reportedly approached the victims with a handgun and something covering his face and ordered them out of the truck. The gunman and a second man searched the victims’ pockets and removed personal items, including a cellular phone and an undisclosed amount of cash, according to police.
The gunman then drove away in the victims’ Ford and the other suspect followed in the Tacoma, according to police. Officers later located the trucks, both unoccupied, in an empty lot north of Hookena School in Captain Cook. Police determined that the Tacoma had been reported as stolen from a home in the Kona Palisades subdivision sometime between Dec. 23 and 24.
The second robbery occurred Wednesday in the parking lot of a store on Kamakaeha Ave. in Kailua-Kona, according to police who responded to the 2:22 a.m. report.
The victims, a 19-year-old Hilo man and two 18-year-old Hilo men, reported that they were in the parking lot when a dark gray Toyota Tundra pickup truck pulled up. The truck’s passenger got out of the Toyota with something concealing his face, approached them with a handgun and robbed them of a red backpack, personal identification, credit cards, cellular phones and an undisclosed amount of cash, according to police.
He then fled on Makala Boulevard in the truck with the stolen items, according to police, who noted the victims recovered their cell phones, which were thrown out of the truck as it left the area.
The gunman was described as skinny and “local” and about 5 feet 8 inches tall. He spoke pidgin, according to police.
Anyone with information about the cases should call the department’s nonemergency line at 935-3311.
Those who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 329-8181 in Kona or 961-8300 in Hilo and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.