While good Samaritan helped car crash victims, thief swooped in - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

While good Samaritan helped car crash victims, thief swooped in to take his stuff

A good Samaritan sprung into action to help a family in this SUV, not noticing when a thief swooped in to take the laptop case he'd left on the sidewalk. (Image: Jason Lees) A good Samaritan sprung into action to help a family in this SUV, not noticing when a thief swooped in to take the laptop case he'd left on the sidewalk. (Image: Jason Lees)
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

When an SUV overturned on King Street on Wednesday, trapping its four occupants inside, people rushed to their aid.

Among the good Samaritans: Randy Gonce, who had just left Bank of Hawaii. He ran out to the mangled car and jumped into action.

"There was a mother screaming that her babies were in the car. All you could only see was her hands popping out of the vehicle," he said.

In the rush to help, the Air Force veteran tossed his laptop bag on the sidewalk.

"The driver's side window was broken so we pulled the mother out from that area," he said. "Then we went to the back side of the vehicle to open the doors and get the children out."

While Gonce and other bystanders were distracted, a thief took advantage of the chaos, nabbing Gonce's satchel on the sidewalk and walking off.

"I had one gentleman say he saw someone take the bag, but he didn't realize it was mine so he didn't stop him," Gonce said.

The thief didn't waste any time taking advantage of his loot. Within nine minutes of the crash, a transaction was made on one of Gonce's card at Walgreens. Later in the day, a $500 transaction was made at Ross.

On top of cleaning out Gonce's bank account, the graduate student's laptop was stolen. On the hard drive: a semester's worth of research.

"All my term papers are due today that I've been working months and months to complete," he said.

Gonce quickly canceled his cards, but the thief wasn't through. He proceeded to go to Zippys and order $50 worth of food. The cards were declined. 

"I'm told he snagged the food from the lady who was holding it at the window and drove off," Gonce said.

Police don't have a good description of the thief, only that he may have been wearing a red shirt and tan shorts.

Gonce says he's grateful the family involved in the crash is OK.

Now he's holding out hope someone will recognize his brown canvas satchel with his 2015 MacBook Pro inside. "It has an American flag button on it.  On the strap of the bag," Gonce said.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call police.

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