Charges Filed in String of Convenience Store Robberies

7-Eleven store in Kalihi that was robbed by the suspects.
7-Eleven store in Kalihi that was robbed by the suspects.

KALIHI (KHNL) -- Cashiers at convenience stores in Kalihi are working more comfortably now. That's because police have charged two people in connection with a series of 7-Eleven robberies.

Using the A.T.M. is the right way to get cash from the 7-Eleven on North School Street. Holding up the cashiers, now that would be the wrong way.

21-year-old Maliepo Sitani is charged with two counts of robbery. Police say he held up the convenience store two times in four nights, leaving workers on edge.

"We scared," Faauli Salanoa, witness, said. "Come up, we no like work in the night time, yeah."

Salanoa was working during the second heist this past Sunday.

"The guys open the register and take the money," she said. "And I just grab the phone, call 911, and I walk in front. And the guy just turn around, see me, and just walk out."

Investigators say 20-year-old Randal Strong is Sitani's accomplice. Strong is accused of shoplifting bentos and beer.

Although the suspects have been charged in only two cases so far, investigators believe their robbery spree began at the 7-Eleven on Dillingham Boulevard February 26th.

The Dillingham location was hit a second time March fourth. The 7-Eleven at 1717 North King Street was held up March 10th. That makes a total of five cases police believe the men are responsible for.

For now, the suspects are off the streets.

"We so happy because it's all our workers over here scary for work in the night," Salanoa said. "But once they heard the news police caught them that night, they happy about it."

Sitani is charged with two counts of second-degree robbery, and is being held in lieu of $50,000 bail.

Strong is charged with two counts of fourth-degree theft. His bail was set at $1,000.