Man robs two banks in two days; apprehended after 2nd attempt

Published On: Oct 16 2012 03:27:00 PM HST

Bank robbers in Hawaii are brazen criminals, committing their crimes in broad daylight, usually with plenty of witnesses. 

But KITV crunched the numbers of bank robberies in the islands and discovered it's a crime that doesn't pay.

From a high of 41 bank robberies back in 2006, there have only been 5 so far this year, including the one Tuesday at the Kapiolani American Savings bank and Monday at the Aina Haina Territorial Savings Bank.

Both of those robberies were committed by the same man, a 46-year-old Hawaiian man, who was apprehended on Rycroft Street, near his latest robbery attempt Tuesday afternoon.

In both instances the man approached the teller, demanded money and fled on foot.

Banks full of money used to be a big draw to criminals, but lately there has been a big drop to the crime there.

"Criminals are opportunists," said Special Agent Tom Simon, FBI spokesman. "They are going to go where the money is and where they will succeed, but bank robberies are just not there for them to succeed criminally."

Along with the drop in crime, more robbery suspects were captured last year.

"We had a 100% clear rate, every single bank robbery in 2011 had been solved by HPD and the FBI," declared Simon.

One of the reasons law enforcement is catching more criminals, is thanks to technology giving us a better picture of who is robbing our banks".

During the robbery in Aina Haina, generic aspects of the suspect were captured, like height and weight. But so were specific details, like an ornate tattoo on his arm.

"The banks have invested a ton of money in cameras that can zoom in on the bank robber, so the days of the grainy photos are done. We can identify these guys quickly, with the help of Crimestoppers," Simon added.

Even technology in the stolen money can lead to the suspect. Along with exploding dye packs, there are also tracking devices and even bait bills used to connect the criminal to the crime.
And about that money, Simon says most suspects don't walk away with all that much.

"The money criminals receives is nothing like Hollywood, the money is minimal and police and FBI clear about 80% of crimes nationally, its just not worth anyone's time to rob a bank these days"

Bank robberies are federal crimes, and convictions can send criminals to prison for 20 years.


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