HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Police are searching for the man who tried to rob Alicia's Market in Kalihi. The thief walked in at about 2:20 p.m. on Wednesday.
Cynthia Mori has worked at her family's business for more than 50 years. This was the first time she has faced a robber while behind the register. Alicia's is usually packed, but she was by herself in the front of the store.
"In walks this man with this hooded jacket and he asked for water, he kept on saying, 'Water, water.' I said, 'The water is that side,' and he kept on going that way," said Mori.
Mori said she kept a close eye on the man as he nervously walked back and forth.
"Then all of a sudden he opened up his jacket and he showed me something that was a black handle and he held onto it and said, 'Give me all your money. Give me all your money,'" Mori said.
Instead of panicking, the 62-year-old cashier stared at the weapon that was tucked into the robber's waistband.
"It didn't look like a gun so I walked away from the register and as I was walking away, he was going, 'Where are you going?' and I started yelling, 'Help, somebody come in front,'" recalled Mori. "Then he just darted out the door."
A customer tried to chase the suspect, but he ran off. Surveillance footage shows the man using a pay phone outside just minutes before the foiled robbery.
"All the detectives came, the people who took the fingerprints, measured all the counters, took pictures of everything, so I guess it was pretty serious," Mori said.
Mori described the suspect as 6'2" and 180 pounds with dark brown hair.
Police haven't confirmed that this case is related to a string of other recent robberies, but Rix Island Wear in Ward Warehouse has told Hawaii News Now that it appears the man involved in Wednesday's incident is same suspect involved in a hold-up there.
Investigators have already said the gunman who robbed Rix on Monday may also be linked to two other crimes, including one on August 18, when a man allegedly demanded drugs from the pharmacy at the Keeaumoku Walgreens.
Police are investigating the possibility that he is also the Ward Warehouse robber and the suspect in another hold-up that same day in Waikiki.