Suspects restrain store owner with choke hold in violent Kailua - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Suspects restrain store owner with choke hold in violent Kailua robbery

KAILUA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

It was a brazen robbery attempt in broad daylight. And now, police, along with a social media following, are on the hunt for the suspects.

Honolulu Police said the robbery happened between 4:05 and 4:15 p.m. Wednesday at the Keolu Liquor Store at the Enchanted Lake Shopping Center in Kailua. 

That's when two men and a woman entered the store. 

Pictures from surveillance video show a terrifying scene, as a man with a dark shirt wraps hi arms around the owner's neck in a choke hold. 

The female suspect allegedly locked the door so that the man's wife couldn't run for help. 

Customers said this is something that never happens at their neighborhood store.

"I'm driving home and passing the shopping center," said Ashleen Galdeira. "I noticed that there was a lot of policemen, so I decided to just turn in," to see what was going on.

"They have been here for a while, a lot of people I see, it's a pretty busy liquor store," said another customer, Kuulei Garcia, who works in the area. "People stop in, get whatever they need to get, snacks or drinks or whatever."

But the store was apparently empty when the robbery happened. 

A friend of the owner said online that one of the robbers removed the man's pants. That robber is shown wearing a white tank top, with black hair tied in a ponytail.

The robbery has customers scared, but also upset at what happened to the owner.

"He's very nice," said Garcia. "He's very quiet but still pleasant at the same time. He's a very nice guy."

Investigators said even though the suspects used force on the store employees, they still fled empty-handed. 

The owner's friends posted on Facebook that the suspects fled in a white pickup truck. They also posted the surveillance photos in the hopes that the suspects will be caught.

"I think it's very scary and I just hope that the guys who did this get caught and face the consequences," said Galdeira.

HPD has opened a first-degree robbery case. Anyone with information is asked to call police or CrimeStoppers.

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