East Hawaii News

Tuesday Minit Stop Robbery Under Investigation

December 17, 2014, 2:55 PM HST
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A robbery that occurred Tuesday at the Minit Stop location on Kekela Street in Hilo has prompted a Hawai’i Police Department investigation.

HPD reports that South Hilo patrol officers responded to a 1:08 p.m. call from an employee at Minit Stop who reported a burglary that had just taken place in the store.

The victim said that a lone male suspect entered the store claiming that he had a firearm. At that point, the suspect demanded cash and fled the store with an undisclosed amount of cash and merchandise. During the incident, the victim did not see the claimed firearm and was not physically injured during the robbery.

Upon leaving the store, the male suspect fled on foot in a west direction towards Kilauea Avenue where he was seen by a customer who was in the store at the time and followed him, entering a “beat up” black early model Mercedes 4-door sedan with the license plate PSJ-088.

Police says the parked suspect’s vehicle was struck by another vehicle in a private parking lot before it exited and was heading in a south direction on Kilauea Avenue. The customer continued to follow the black Mercedes on Highway 11 but eventually lost sight of it in traffic.

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The incident is being investigated by the Area I Criminal Investigation Division, who responded to the scene and conducted checks along Highway 11 as well as into the Puna District. Articles of clothing and merchandise were recovered by detectives and evidence specialists. The items are assumed to have been discarded by the suspect as he fled the store on foot.

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Video surveillance footage has also been recovered from the store. The investigation is being continued by detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section.

The crime has been classified as first-degree robbery and detectives are seeking 36-year-old Kelly Marie Brightbill of Hilo for questioning in connection to the robbery.

Brightbill is also wanted for an outstanding warrant and is known by the alias of Kali Lee Simpson. She is described as being about 5’10” tall and weighs about 125-130 pounds. Brightbill is described by police as having a slim build, green eyes, a fair complexion, and medium length straight hair that has been dyed reddish pink or purple.

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The robbery suspect is also being sought after and detectives are seeking out the public’s assistance in locating him. The man has been described as Caucasian, possibly in his early to mid 20’s, about 5’5” to 5’7”, and weighing about 125-130 pounds. He has a slim build and shoulder length blond hair.

Anyone who may have witnessed the incident at the Minit Stop or the fender bender in the Kai Store parking lot is asked to call Detective Joel Field of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at 961-2382 or e-mail [email protected]

Individuals who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300

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