FBI agents arrested three Aiea teenagers on Tuesday in connection with a string of armed bank robberies on Oahu as well as the robbery of a Reynolds Recycling center.
Federal agents were assisted by Honolulu police, who have worked on the case for weeks.
The suspects were identified as 19-year-old Marcus Kalani Watson, also known as Kiki Seui, 19-year-old Rogussia Danielson and 18-year-old AJ Williander.
"Solving these robberies was a particular priority for the FBI and the Honolulu Police Department because of the escalated level of threat and violence involved," FBI Special Agent in Charge Vida Bottom said in a joint news conference at HPD headquarters.
Watson is believed to have been involved in the robberies at the Reynolds Recycling location on Salt Lake Blvd., at the Central Pacific Bank in Wahiawa, the American Savings Bank in Salt Lake and the American Savings Bank in Aiea.
Danielson is a suspect in the American Savings Bank robberies in Salt Lake and Aiea, while Williander is suspected of acting as the getaway driver in the Aiea American Savings Bank robbery.
All of the robberies took place during a 39-day period, from April 22 through May 30.
According to a court affidavit, a confidential source informed the FBI of the identities of those involved in the robberies and then passed a polygraph exam.
Watson allegedly posted a photograph of himself on his Facebook account holding a large amount of cash two days after the Reynolds Recycling robbery.
The affidavit also stated how Watson was able to get away after robbing the Central Pacific Bank in Wahiawa on May 1. Watson said he called TheBus to find out when a city bus would be stopping near the library in Wahiawa. Surveillance video showed Watson boarding the bus at 10:11 a.m. across the street from the CPB branch. Watson appeared to have changed his clothing and threw some of the items he wore during the robbery in a trash can before boarding the bus, the affidavit stated.
According to the confidential source, Watson recruited Danielson for the robbery at the American Savings Bank in Salt Lake. Danielson stood by the door with a shotgun, while Watson used a handgun to rob the tellers.
Watson told the confidential source they used a white Lexus as a getaway car and that he and Danielson parked it about a block away from the bank. In order to get to the Lexus after the robbery, they both had to run up a hill and through a hole in a fence, the affidavit further states.
As for the robbery at the Aiea American Savings Bank on May 30, the confidential source was told that Watson and Danielson ran to a nearby canal and had to scale a wall before getting picked up by Williander.
On the same day of the Aiea bank robbery, Watson was concerned that law enforcement might contact him and his mother booked him on a one-way flight on Alaska Airlines from Honolulu to Oakland, Calif. Watson told the confidential source that he planned to stay with his mother and brother in California for a month and was planning another robbery.
On June 12, Danielson's Facebook account showed him with a large amount of money spread out in one hand and a large stack of money in the other hand by his ear.
Watson was arrested Tuesday at Honolulu International Airport after arriving on an Alaska Air flight from Oakland. Williander was also arrested at the airport as he waited to pickk up Watson. Danielson meanwhile was arrested at his home in Aiea.
Bottom said FBI agents were on board the flight with Watson to monitor his movements. All three suspects are expected to appear in Honolulu U.S. District Court on Wednesday.
"It was through the use of modern technology and some good 'ole fashion police work that resulted in the identification of these three perpetrators," said U.S. Attorney Florence Nakakuni.
"Dozens of CID (Criminal Investigation Division) investigators, crime reduction unit officers, patrol and swat officers, criminal analysts and others at HPD have been working tirelessly to identify and track down these dangerous perpetrators," added Honolulu police chief Louis Kealoha. "Today's arrests are a direct result of their hard worked and diligence."
You can also upload your weather photos or videos using our KITV iPhone or Android app.