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Police: Bystanders rescue woman yelling for help during kidnapping

Police are investigating an attempted robbery in which a Hilo area convenience store employee was forced into her car by a masked robber early Tuesday morning.

Shortly after midnight, police received a report of a woman yelling for assistance in the area of Leilani Street and Kanoelehua Avenue. Responding officers determined that a male suspect attempted to rob the Minit Stop employee but fled after residents in the area responded to the 53-year-old woman’s calls for help.

According to a Hawaii County Police Department report, the suspect demanded money before forcing the woman into her vehicle. He then entered the vehicle himself and forced the employee to drive from the store after brandishing a knife. After driving a short distance the victim was able to get the attention of nearby residents.

The suspect then got out of the vehicle and fled on foot on Kalanikoa Street. Police said they recovered evidence left by the suspect and video surveillance from the store.

The woman was not injured.

The case is classified as a first-degree attempted robbery, first-degree unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle and kidnapping.

The suspect is described as being in his late teens or early 20s, approximately 5-foot-6 inches tall, about 150-pounds, with dark colored shoulder length hair. He was last seen wearing a dark-colored long-sleeve shirt and long shorts.

Police ask anyone with any information about this incident or anyone who may know the identity of the suspect to contact Detective Tuckloy Aurello at (808) 961-2385 or tuckloy.aurello@hawaiicounty.gov or Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300 .

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    • Being originally from Hilo and with Family still there. Hilo and the surrounding communities have changed for the worst. Sorry to say, but the influx of transplants have really changed the profile of what was a nice place to potentially develop a University / Research Facility, Geothermal Research and Development and a Retirement Community. This could have been marketed to a population that we wanted to bring into the Community versus what we have now.

  • At least the community responded. Hilo wasn’t dangerous like that when I visited relatives as a child. Around Honolulu, I don’t know anymore. Good nothing worse happened.

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