Alert police officers and an observant witness led to the capture last week of two men wanted for allegedly impersonating police officers to rob a convenience store in Kalihi.
Lyle Castro, 26, and Canaan Pa, 30, were charged Friday with second-degree robbery and both remained at Oahu Community Correctional Center Tuesday night, unable to post $30,000 bail. Their preliminary hearings are scheduled for Wednesday.
According to court documents, the robbery occurred at about 3:50 p.m. on Feb. 26 at the Budget Mini Mart, 1435 Middle St.
Three men entered the store and told the owner they are “police officers” with “paper to seize the game machines,” the court documents said.
One witness told police he was in the store when the men entered and heard one of them say, “We’re the cops.” The witness said a second man gave some yellow-colored paperwork to the owner, and one of the suspects pushed the owner while telling her to get out of his way.
The witness said one of the men had a dark-colored bag containing a pair of long bolt cutters, which the assailants used to cut the chain securing a game machine. Then the men left the store with two game machines and got into a white Ford Windstar van with an unknown woman in the driver’s seat.
The witness gave police the license plate, which police used to determine that the van was registered to Castro. Crime Reduction Unit police officers recognized Castro from numerous police contacts and knew he frequented game rooms in Kalihi, the documents said.
The officers made several checks at game rooms and found Castro at 1825 Dillingham Blvd. in less than an hour after the robbery. The witness identified Castro as a suspect.
The same witness identified Pa in a photographic lineup as the man who handed the paperwork to the business owner and who also carried out one of the machines. Police found Pa at a Waipahu home the following day.