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Police Investigating Two Robberies at Gunpoint in Kona

January 3, 2014, 5:13 PM HST
* Updated January 3, 5:15 PM
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Kona police are investigating a pair of robberies with similar circumstances that occurred about 24 hours apart around the New Year.

The first was reported at 2:18 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 31, in the parking lot of the Home Depot store in Kailua-Kona.

Two men from Ocean View, ages 18 and 30, told police they were in a parked truck when a black Toyota Tacoma pickup pulled up.

They said the passenger of the Toyota approached them with his face covered and holding a handgun.

After the men were ordered out of their vehicle, the gunman and a second man searched their pockets and took items that included a cellular phone and cash.

The gunman then drove away in the victims’ pickup, described as a white Ford F-150 with Alaska license plates, followed by the other suspect in the Toyota.

Both vehicles were later found in an empty lot north of Hookena School in South Kona. Police determined that the Toyota had been reported stolen around Dec. 23 from a home in the Kona Palisades subdivision.

The other incident was reported at 2:22 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 1, in the parking lot of a store on Kamakaeha Avenue in Kailua-Kona.

The three victims, two 18-year-olds and a 19-year-old, all residents of Hilo, said a dark gray Toyota Tundra pickup pulled up. The passenger approached them brandishing a handgun with his face partially concealed and robbed them of a red backpack, personal identification, credit cards, cell phones and cash.

He got back into the Toyota, which drove away on Makala Boulevard.

The cellular phones were thrown from the truck as it left the area and were retrieved by the victims.

In that incident, the gunman was described as a thin local male, about 5-foot-8, who spoke pidgin.

Lt. Gerald Wike of the Kona Criminal Investigations Section said the two robberies may be related.

Anyone with information on the cases is asked to call the police department at 935-3311.

Anonymous tipsters can call Crime Stoppers at 329-8181 in Kona or 961-8300 in Hilo.

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