Quick thinking cabbie avoids likely hold-up outside Ala Moana Center

Quick thinking cabbie avoids likely hold-up outside Ala Moana Center

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A cab driver’s quick thinking likely saved him ― and another driver ― from being held up at a cab stand outside Ala Moana Center over the weekend.

It happened around 2:30 p.m. Sunday in the parking structure right outside the AT&T store.

Howard Higa, president of “The Cab," says things could have turned out very differently.

“This is probably one of the most dangerous businesses around,” Higa said. “I know that a lot of our drivers have experienced robberies. Also, there are assaults just for money.”

Higa said the incident at Ala Moana is especially concerning because it happened in broad daylight and in public view.

“We have a lot of cabs there. There’s a lot of shoppers there. There’s security guards. To actually rob someone at Ala Moana at mid-day, to me, it’s shocking,” Higa said.

He said the suspects ― a man and a woman in their 20s ― got into the backseat of his driver’s car and immediately asked him if he had change for a $20.

“The driver responded that he did. And they told him, ‘Just take us a short distance,’” said Higa.

When the driver turned to look at the couple, he saw the man fiddling with a gun in his backpack.

“He jumped out of the car and said, ‘Gun!’ He told the driver behind him, 'Gun!” said Higa.

“You think they would have run. But they ran to another cab to jump into that car. But by that time, the driver had locked his car and ran.”

Higa said the couple snatched the cabbies keys from the ignition and then fled on foot, managing to escape using a nearby elevator. No one was hurt.

“The reality is if you can get out to the car and run, that is the best solution,” said Higa. “I highly commend him just for thinking so quickly and also warning another driver.”

Both suspects remain on the loose.

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