Suspect in violent Waipahu store robbery still at large

WAIPAHU, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Waipahu business owner says he was pistol-whipped, tied up and robbed early Friday morning.

Alexander Nguyen was the only one working at Dust & Fumes off Leokane Street around 1 a.m.

He says a man wearing a ski mask, a dark-colored jacket and basketball shorts and Nike brand basketball shoes entered the surfboard factory demanding money.

"I was here on the phone and he approached me this way with the gun in my face and he knocked me in my head," Nguyen described. "I woke up right here, tied up like this on the floor."

Nguyen says he's not sure how long he was knocked unconscious.

The suspect used iPhone charging cords to tie his wrists and ankles together.

"I was trying to move and I opened my eyes and I saw his foot stomp right in front of my face," he said.

Nguyen says he pretended to remain unconscious as the suspect continued to rummaged through the shop. He toppled over heavy equipment before running upstairs.

That's when Nguyen says he managed to untie himself and run for help.

"I was like okay this is it, if I don't do this now, it's over," he said.

Nguyen noticed his car keys were missing.

When he got outside, he saw the suspect's getaway SUV parked in the lot with the door unlocked.

"I was like no way, is this his car? I reached where the ignition was and his whole set of keys was there," Nguyen said. "So I took it and gassed it. I took a right turn, and another right turn right into the police station and I honked."

Nguyen says he tried directing police to his shop, but was having a hard time convincing officers he had just been robbed.

"I told them 'My shop is right behind you, there's a guy with a gun and he beat me, you have to get him he's dangerous'," said Nguyen. "I was shaking so hard they thought I was on drugs."

By then, it was already too late.

The suspect fled in Nguyen's truck with his laptop, cameras and multiple power tools among other items.

Nguyen went to the hospital for treatment.

Almost 10 hours later, police found his truck in Ewa, completely stripped, but the suspect and all the equipment where no where to be found.

Nguyen says he's grateful he's alive, but moving forward will be tough.

"This shop is a place for a lot of people," said Nguyen. "Surfers, their families and kids come here. They learn, they grow and they build boards. He got away and I couldn't stop him. He took everything I had everything we worked hard for."

No arrests have been made.

Anyone with information should call Honolulu Police or CrimeStoppers at 955-8300.

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