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Heist is second taxi robbery of week

A taxicab driver was robbed in the Keeaumoku Street area yesterday morning. It was the second robbery of a cabdriver this week.

Police said the 5:20 a.m. robbery involved three suspects: a man and woman in their early 40s and a man in his early 30s.

Police said the taxi driver, a 43-year-old man, picked up the passengers in the McCully area and drove them to the Keeaumoku district. When they reached their destination, one of the suspects brandished a knife. The victim struck the suspect and all three suspects fled, police said.

At about 6:20 p.m. Monday a taxi driver picked up a suspect and dropped him off in Kalihi, police said. An unknown object was put against the neck of the cabbie, a 54-year-old man, and the suspect demanded money, police said. The suspect fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of money.


Sparks lit gas vapors in Waipahu fire

Investigators have determined that a fire Thursday at Tows R Us, a Waipahu recycling and towing facility, started accidentally.

Sparks from a cutting tool apparently ignited gasoline vapors in the area. The fire spread quickly because of other flammable and combustible materials in the vicinity, said Fire Department spokesman Capt. Earle Kealoha. Fuel being drained from vehicles may also have contributed to the large size and thick black smoke of the fire.


Pearl City blaze is blamed on arson

Arson is suspected as the cause of a fire Thursday in an abandoned two-story building in Pearl City used by the homeless.

Capt. Earle Kealoha, Fire Department spokesman, said a fire investigator determined that the fire was deliberately set with accelerants used to start fires in multiple locations.

Damage to the structure at 98-0077 Kamehameha Highway was estimated at $10,000. The room was filled with bedding and other household items that indicated homeless individuals may have been living there, Kealoha said.

The fire, which was started in the rear of the building, was confined to an 800-square-foot room on the first floor of the two-story structure.


Diver dies despite rescue and CPR

A man died yesterday following what appeared to have been a diving accident in Maunalua Bay off East Honolulu shortly before 7 a.m.

The man, who appeared to be in his 50s, was brought to shore on a dive boat. Bystanders and firefighters performed CPR on him until paramedics arrived, said Bryan Cheplic, spokesman for the city Department of Emergency Services. The man was taken to a hyperbaric treatment center where he was pronounced dead a short time later.



Raid brings man’s arrest over drugs

A 27-year-old Kailua-Kona man was charged with several drug offenses following a raid Thursday, Big Island police said.

Casey Matheson was charged Thursday with one count of promoting a detrimental drug, nine counts of promoting a dangerous drug and seven counts of possessing drug paraphernalia. He was being held at the Kona police cellblock in lieu of $206,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in court Monday.

Vice officers served a search warrant at a home in Kona Palisades subdivision Thursday morning. Officers recovered 5.9 grams of 4-methylmethcathinone, also known as 4-MMC or "meow meow," recently placed on the controlled-substance list as a hallucinogenic drug.

Officers also recovered less than a half-gram of cocaine, one hydrocodone pill, 2 1/2 prescription amphetamine pills, 39 methylphenidate tablets, 14.8 grams of processed marijuana and $1,303 in cash for forfeiture.


Sea search finds no sign of paddler

The Maui Fire Department will decide this morning whether to continue searching for a 62-year-old paddler reported missing near Kaupo.

The man was reported missing Wednesday afternoon. He was wearing a black shirt and black shorts.

Maui firefighters searched by helicopter for several hours along the coastline yesterday, said Maui fire Battalion Chief Sheldon Holokai. No sign of the man was found.

Maui police and the Coast Guard also helped in the search after the man was reported missing. The Coast Guard called off its search before dawn on Thursday.

Holokai said ocean conditions for search operations were good yesterday.


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