Second suspect caught in brazen kidnapping, robbery case on Maui - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Second suspect caught in brazen kidnapping, robbery case on Maui

(image: Maui Police Department) (image: Maui Police Department)
NAKALELE POINT, MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The second suspect in a high-profile kidnapping and robbery case involving a pair of tourists on Maui has been arrested, sources tell Hawaii News Now.

Phillip Rosenthal, a 37-year-old Lahaina man, was arrested Thursday in connection with the crime after he was seen entering a grey SUV in the North Kihei area.

Rosenthal, sources say, was one-half of the tandem accused of holding a newly engaged California couple hostage before stealing thousands of dollars from them nearly two weeks ago. 19-year-old Ashley Ramos surrendered to police last week. 

An “all-points bulletin” went out for Rosenthal on Tuesday, according to sources, who also noted that the man was considered armed and dangerous prior to his arrest.

We're told the male victim had just proposed to his girlfriend near the ocean. Both victims are graduate students at the University of Southern California.

Sources tell Hawaii News Now that the couple was walking back to their car when Rosenthal and Ramos allegedly pulled out two guns, pointed one at the man's face and demanded money. Rosenthal is then accused of firing the gun off to the side, telling the victim, “I will kill you."

The suspects stole nearly $10,000 worth of valuables from them, including the diamond engagement ring that had just been put on the woman's finger.

Rosenthal and Ramos separated the victims and took them to various locations around the island, telling them multiple times they'd be killed if they contacted police.

When the robbery spree was over, Rosenthal and Ramos allegedly let the couple go. That's when the victims called authorities.

Rosenthal has a long history of violent crimes, including 12 prior felony convictions on charges that included kidnapping, robbery, burglary, and theft.

Department of Public Safety officials say Rosenthal was given a 20 year sentence back in 2001 but was released on parole in 2012.

He was sent back to prison in 2013, for violating the terms of his parole, before being released seven months ago.

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