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Police arrest suspect in Waipahu robbery

    Police investigate a robbery at Elena's Restaurant in the Tropicanna Square in Waipahu Saturday.

Police arrested a 26-year-old homeless man in connection with a robbery at Elena’s restaurant in Waipahu Saturday morning.

Honolulu Police Maj. Lester Hite said detectives are investigating if the suspect may be connected to some of the recent robberies of businesses on Oahu.

The man entered the restaurant about 7:10 a.m. and demanded money with a 12-inch knife, Hite said. The suspect fled and was captured about 7:45 a.m. inside a nearby apartment building.

Hite said two residents allowed police to enter their apartment and detain the man without incident.

Officers arrested the suspect on suspicion of first-degree robbery and unauthorized entry of a dwelling.

The arrest comes a day after Honolulu police held a news conference about a series of robberies at fast-food restaurants, convenience stores, and bank robberies over the last several months.

The robberies apear to have become more frequent in the last few weeks.

At least 12  armed robberies occurred at convenience stores, 24-hour drugstores and fast-food restaurants since June 30.

Police suspect at least three bandits or groups of criminals are involved in the robberies.

Elena’s announced it was robbed on its Facebook page Saturday.

“We are all okay, but very frazzled,” a post said. “We will Re-Open at 12 noon. Please be patient with our employees today since they have been through a lot today.”

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