WAIMANALO (HawaiiNewsNow) - Waimanalo residents were on edge Thursday, as Honolulu police scoured the community for a man who robbed a motorcyclist at gunpoint.
Hawaii News Now spoke with the victim's mother. She says the suspect, who has evaded capture so far, apologized to her son before stealing his bike.
The victim from Kaneohe called his mother in Texas to let her know about his ordeal. She says her son, who's about to become a new daddy, was running errands after working the night shift. That's when he had his terrifying encounter with a gunman.
The SWAT team, the canine unit and the police helicopter. The operation to net a gunman began before dawn, jolting residents along Kumuhau Street from their sleep.
"I heard a bike screaming. It was just ripping through here," Dwight Kau, Waimanalo resident, said. "Then I see little blue lights, you know, blinking right through my jalousie glass, so I figured the cops were chasing him."
The action began at a gas station in Kaneohe at about 3 AM. A man had stopped to fuel up his motorcycle, when the suspect approached him and complimented his bike.
"You have a nice bike, he walked up to him and told him that," the victim's mother said. "Then he goes, 'Hey, I'm sorry I have to do this.' Then he pulled the gun out, showed him a gun or something, and then he took off on it."
The gunman also stole his helmet and gloves.
Police spotted the suspect speeding through Waimanalo, and later found the motorcycle, helmet and handgun dumped on Kumuhau Street. That triggered the full-scale search, which was made difficult because of the dense brush and rugged terrain behind these properties.
"I was scared," Noe Donato, Waimanalo resident, said. "So I woke up my husband and told him to get up and don't go outside."
The active search wrapped up at about 9 AM, but officers continued to follow up on possible sightings.
Workers at Waimanalo Elementary reported seeing a man walking through the bushes in the back of the school. An officer combed the area and found nothing.
The mother of the robbery victim is relieved that he wasn't hurt.
"Material things can be replaced," she said. "That's what I tell him all the time. Material things can always be replaced. As long as you're okay, your health is fine, everything is great."
Investigators reportedly obtained surveillance video of the robbery from the gas station.
Police say the suspect is about 6' tall, weighs about 200 lbs, and has several tattoos.