Roving van of men linked to 2 armed robberies that were minutes apart

2 violent robberies that happened minutes apart likely connected

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - About 1 a.m. Thursday, cameras captured video of a van cruising the streets of Waikiki.

Inside, witnesses say, there were close to half dozen people.

And it turns out, they were looking for their next victim.

In the video, you can see a man exit the van and approach a woman before making a beeline towards a man name Luis, who was walking his friend back to her hostel.

“The guy started walking, and like turned his attention towards us as if he was going to ask a question," said Luis, who asked that his last name be withheld.

"But then I realized, he quick drew a gun. And had it straight at her.”

Luis managed to get the woman out of harm’s way. The video shows him now staring down the barrel of the gun. He said the robber seemed nervous as he repeatedly demanded money.

“I kind of told him I only got $20. But I’m not going to give you my wallet because I got my ID and stuff,” Luis said. “Trying to keep tensions calm.”

The gunman repeatedly swung at Luis’ wallet as he attempted to hand over the cash.

“The third struggle, he swung at me with the gun. Hit me on the back of the head and on the side of my face. The gun fell to the ground,” Luis said. “The guy seemed a little stunned.”

While the gunman was distracted, Luis took out his cash and handed it to him. The suspect made his getaway in that waiting van.

Police sources say that same vehicle may be connected to a second robbery that happened 15 minutes earlier in McCully.

About 12:30 a.m., a man reported being held up at the corner of Phillip Street and Kalakaua Avenue.

Police sources say the victim described a similar van with a bunch of people in it. But this time the guy holding the gun was wearing a mask.

As for Luis, he said he’s got swelling on his face but was able to go to work Thursday.

He had a message for the criminals: “You can get a better job than that. Your life’s on the line, bro. You’re either going to get arrested, destroy the rest of your life or get shot.”

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