Residents question why high-profile crime spree suspect was free in the first place

Residents question why high-profile crime spree suspect was free in the first place

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A high-profile convicted criminal who was arrested in Waipahu following an intense manhunt on Thursday was in state custody just three months ago ― and residents of the communities that were on edge during the crime spree want to know why he was released.

Law enforcement sources say one of the suspects, 25-year-old Victor Gascon III, has been terrorizing residents across the island for weeks.

The crime spree started in Waialua on Thursday morning and ended in Waipahu hours later, forcing at least two Oahu schools into lockdown and concluding with the arrests of four people.

Police say Gascon III and James Fejeran, 25, robbed a Waialua man outside his home with a semi-automatic pistol Thursday around 9:30 a.m.

The two suspects fled in a stolen vehicle, and a police helicopter followed them to Waipahu.

Shona Mae Cobb, 39, and 18-year-old Leilani Lokar were arrested after being found inside the stolen car.

After an hours-long extensive search of the surrounding area, police found the two men hiding.

All four are facing a long list of felony charges.

"Yesterday afternoon about 11, I got a call from the investigating officer,” said Michael Haloski.

Haloski reported his car stolen to police last week. When he showed up to Waipahu to claim it on Thursday, he saw the area swarmed with officers ― and his car crushed.

“I said, ‘Geez! This is some serious stuff,’" Haloski said. “This is pretty serious. I guess they’ve been doing this for quite a while. Thank God the policemen caught them.”

Department of Public Safety authorities said Gascon was caught breaking into a car at the airport back in September.

He was charged with kidnapping and robbery, and the investigation was turned over to the state Attorney General’s office.

A spokesperson for the Attorney General said Gascon was released from their custody pending further investigation. Further investigation was necessary to determine appropriate charges, the spokesperson said.

Sources say Gascon is linked to a string of high-profile car jackings across Oahu, the recent Macy’s smash-and-grab robberies and was the suspect who got away in an officer-involved shooting in Kapolei last month that left 30-year-old Michael Kahalehoe dead.

Copyright 2019 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.