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3 arrested in connection with robberies, carjackings in Hilo

Three suspects were arrested by Hawaii island police in connection with two robberies and attempted carjackings in downtown Hilo.

One of the incidents took place around 7:45 p.m. Friday near the 300 block of Makaala Street when a masked man armed with a shotgun tried to take truck keys from a 77-year-old man. When the victim refused, the gunman fired a shot, police said. The older man then ran and fell, sustaining minor injuries to his hands.

The gunman fled in a silver truck, but not before taking several items from the truck belonging to the victim, who was able to give police the license plate number of the getaway vehicle.

Prior to Friday’s incident, police were already investigating a similar crime in which a would-be carjacker used pepper spray to try to steal a truck from a 37-year-old man. The theft was thwarted and shortly thereafter witnesses heard a gunshot in the same vicinity, according to police.

Investigators tracked down the registered owners of the silver truck to a residence on Chong Street, where they found items that were taken from the 77-year-old man as well as 25 marijuana plants. The silver truck used in the crime was also at the property, police said.

Police arrested two brothers, ages 25 and 36, and a 24-year-old woman on suspicion of robbery, reckless endangering, unauthorized entry to a motor vehicle, terroristic threatening, assault, and firearms and drug violations.

Anyone with information on either of the incidents should call detective Wendall Carter at 961-2383 or the police nonemergency number at 935-3311. Anonymous tipsters may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.

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