Golfer sticks by his story in spite of mounting skepticism

Golfer sticks by his story in spite of mounting skepticism
Published: Jan. 22, 2015 at 2:44 AM HST|Updated: Jan. 22, 2015 at 2:55 AM HST
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Charade Keane
Charade Keane

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Despite mounting skepticism about Robert Allenby's claims of getting kidnapped, beaten and robbed in Hawaii last Friday night, the Australian pro golfer is standing by his story.

He told the news network Channel 9 Australia someone using one of his stolen credit cards spent $25,000 in one transaction at an Oahu jewelry store.

Sources told Hawaii News Now that a homeless man was caught on security video using Allenby's stolen credit cards to buy more than $10,000 worth of goods from other stores in the Ala Moana and Ward areas, including an ABC Store and an Urban Outfitters store in Waikiki.

Police are searching for the suspect and may release surveillance video images of him as soon as Thursday.

Law enforcement sources said they are skeptical of Allenby's story and the Honolulu Police Department has not opened kidnapping or assault cases, in spite of his claims that he was kidnapped and beaten.

HPD has opened a robbery case, but law enforcement sources said as of Wednesday, it's unlikely police would pursue that case because they lacked evidence of a robbery.

The only potential charge for which there is evidence so far, sources said, is an unauthorized use of credit cards case, since a man used Allenby's credit card to purchase thousands of dollars of merchandise.

Another homeless man has come forward to say he found Allenby passed out on the sidewalk across the street from Amuse Wine Bar in Kakaako where Allenby claimed to have been kidnapped and thrown in the trunk of his car and dumped six miles away. The homeless man claimed Allenby later fell and that's how he injured his face.

Asked to respond to the homeless man's claim, Allenby told Channel 9 Australia, "I don't know that because I was unconscious."

Another homeless person, Charade Keane, said she came upon him in a planter across the street from Amuse Wine Bar, contradicting his initial claims that he was dumped in a park six miles away from the wine bar.

Allenby also told the news network he is convinced he was drugged and said he's undergone blood and urine tests and is considering getting a hair follicle test since drug residue can remain in hair for a longer period of time than in the blood stream.

Allenby is sticking by his story, saying "I was knocked out cold, I was robbed and I was dumped."

Law enforcement sources in Hawaii told Hawaii News Now that Allenby's injuries were not consistent with an assault, but rather they looked like scrapes he received from falling down.

"A homeless woman found me and told me she saw a few guys pull up and thrown me out of a car," Allenby told the Australian Associated Press last weekend. "That is where I got the scrapes above my eye from the sidewalk."

But Keane, the homeless woman who helped him on the sidewalk across from the wine bar, also contradicted that part of his story and said she didn't see anyone throw Allenby out of a car. Instead, she said she saw him lying back in a planter just off the sidewalk, arguing with two homeless men.

Veteran police officers said kidnapping usually involves people who know each other, such as a drug dealer and someone who owes him money. And it's almost unheard of for crooks in Hawaii to kidnap a tourist as part of a robbery, officers said.

"This isn't Mexico with bands of criminals running around kidnapping people," said one veteran law enforcement officer who refused to be identified. "Besides, kidnapping someone and throwing him in the trunk of a car is an awful lot of effort to go through to steal his wallet, cash and iPhone."

Hawaii has a very low violent crime rate. Robbery rates in the islands are about 25 percent lower and the murder rate in Hawaii is 75 percent lower than the national average.

No one has come forward to corroborate Allenby's claims he was kidnapped, beaten and robbed.

False reporting to law enforcement in Hawaii is punishable by up to a year in prison and a maximum $2,000 fine.

Allenby said he didn't call police to the scene outside Amuse Wine Bar because he didn't feel safe there because he was arguing with two homeless men. He waited to call the police until he returned to the Kahala Hotel, where he was staying. City paramedics were not called to the Kahala Hotel until just before 3 a.m. Saturday, nearly an hour after a cab picked him up at the corner of Kapiolani Boulevard and Piikoi Street and took him back to the hotel.

Allenby, 43, had been eliminated from the Sony Open golf tournament Friday and went to the wine bar with friends that night. He had planned to fly back to the mainland on Saturday morning.

The Melbourne native has been on the pro golf tour since 1991. He became the first and only man to win the Australian triple crown, winning the Masters, Open and PGA in 2005, the Australian Associated Press reported.

But he has not had a good run on the PGA Tour lately, failing to record a single top-ten result during the 2014 season, the AAP said.

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