Kailua-Kona resident James Kekai Hao was recently sentenced to 18 months in jail and probation stemming from two January robberies.
The 22-year-old was sentenced Monday by 3rd Circuit Court Judge Elizabeth Strance to five years probation with conditions that he serve 1 1⁄2 years in jail for kidnapping and two counts second-degree robbery, and one year in jail for first-degree terroristic threatening and two counts of second-degree theft stemming from the robberies reported on Jan. 5 and 12 in North Kona, according to 3rd Circuit Court records. He received credit for time served and was ordered immediately jailed at Hawaii Community Correctional Center in Hilo.
He must also pay fines and fees totalling $1,280 and restitution of $1,080 to the victims; stay at least 100 yards away from the businesses; and write apology letters to the victims, according to the records. He pleaded guilty June 27 to the six felony offenses.
Hao was charged Jan. 21 with 11 offenses in connection with the reported robberies on Jan. 5 in the Kaloko Light Industrial Area and Jan. 12 at the Keauhou Store in Holualoa, according to police.
In the first incident, a 63-year-old Kailua-Kona woman reported to police that a man had entered the Double Dare store and confronted her with scissors before he took an undisclosed amount of money from the store’s cash register. The man then fled on foot. The woman was not injured, according to police.
One week later, a 34-year-old cashier at the Keauhou Store reported a man had entered the store and forcibly removed an undisclosed amount of cash from the register. The woman suffered minor injuries, but did not require medical treatment, according to police.
The store’s surveillance system captured images of the suspect and another man, who remained outside the store, according to police. The two reportedly left in a white Jeep Wrangler.
The second man, also a Kailua-Kona resident, was also charged in connection with the robberies. The charges were dropped during a February preliminary hearing in which Hao testified the man had no knowledge of the robbery or the reason for driving him to the Keauhou Store.