HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - It’s happened again: Another violent robbery targeting the elderly.
This time, Honolulu police are looking for a gunman and a getaway driver. The suspects are wanted for robbing two elderly women who were out on a stroll Monday morning in Salt Lake.
Over the past several months, HNN has reported on numerous coordinated purse snatchings in which suspects roll up on the victim in a vehicle. Someone will get out and violently grab the victim’s bag before getting back in the getaway car and fleeing.
It appears the suspects in this case used similar tactics.
“It’s unsettling. Especially for us women,” said resident Natalia Madrigal.
The Salt Lake victims were a 77-year-old and her 80-year-old friend. They were on their morning walk down Ala Napunani Street about 5:30 a.m. when the crime happened.
Police confirm at least one of of the robbers was armed.
A neighbor named Sue came upon the crime scene as police were investigating.
“They had a gun. That’s what I was told. And there was a car further up waiting to drive away," she said.
Instead of getting away with valuables or cash, all the robbers got was a bag for one of the victim’s umbrellas and a cell phone.
In a phone interview, one of the victims told HNN that the robbery happened very fast.
A man wearing dark colored clothes and a hoodie held them at gunpoint and repeatedly said “give me your bags," the victim said.
The 80-year-old told HNN once he got his hands on her friend’s bag, he took off.
Neither woman was hurt.
At a news conference Tuesday afternoon, police addressed the rash of recent robberies and said detectives believe the crimes are random.
“We can’t plan ahead for these things," said deputy police Chief John McCarthy. “So we try to adjust our personnel to meet whatever the problem might be and that’s exactly what we’re doing at this point.”
That’s response some residents say isn’t exactly reassuring.
“We can’t feel safe anymore,” said Madrigal.
Neighbors said they captured video of the crime on their home surveillance system. They say it’s been handed it over to detectives.
In the meantime, if you have any information on this case you’re asked to call Honolulu police.