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Man, woman indicted for robbery at Kapolei home improvement store

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  • COURTESY DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
                                Puanani L. Hatori.

    COURTESY DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY

    Puanani L. Hatori.

  • COURTESY DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
                                Matthew M. Kupa Sr.

    COURTESY DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY

    Matthew M. Kupa Sr.

An Oahu grand jury returned an indictment against a 33-year-old man and a 35-year-old woman Monday, charging the pair in connection with the alleged robbery at a home improvement store in Kapolei.

The grand jury indicted Matthew M. Kupa Sr. with first-degree robbery and Puanani L. Hatori with accomplice to robbery in the first degree. Kupa is being held at the Halawa Correctional Facility in lieu of $100,000 bail and Hatori is being held at the Oahu Community Correctional Center in lieu of $35,000 bail.

Honolulu police said a suspect left a home improvement store in Kapolei with some merchandise without paying for the items on the night of Oct. 15. A store employee approached him when the suspect allegedly brandished a firearm.

Police said the suspect fled in a vehicle with merchandise taken from the store.

Police arrested Kupa and Hatori in Waianae Wednesday on suspicion of robbery. Police identified Hatori as the driver in the robbery case.

The indictment alleged Kupa threatened the store employee with “a simulated firearm” in the course of committing a theft. A simulated firearm means any object that resembles a firearm or can be perceived to be a firearm or is used or brandished as a firearm, the indictment said.

The charging document also alleged Hatori aided Kupa in planning the robbery.

Kupa faces an extended term of imprisonment if convicted because of two previous felony convictions that include the 2012 conviction involving the brutal assault of former world lightweight boxing champion Andy Ganigan.

Kupa was sentenced to 5 years of probation and 18 months in prison with early release for substance abuse treatment after being convicted of first-degree assault. A witness saw Kupa, then 21, repeatedly punch Ganigan in Waipahu in March 2010.

Ganigan suffered severe brain damage and needed around-the-clock care until his death in 2012 in Las Vegas. He was 59.

Ganigan was named the World Athletic Association lightweight champion after knocking out Sean O’Grady in 1981. He was inducted into the Hawaii Sports Hall of Fame in 2000.

Court records show Kupa’s prison term in the felony assault case was amended to 123 days in 2013.

In 2017, a Circuit Court judge re-sentenced Kupa to 10 years in prison with credit for time served after he violated the terms of his probation.

He was released on parole seven months ago.

Kupa’s criminal record includes a felony theft conviction and three petty misdemeanor convictions for harassment and operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant.

Hatori has a criminal record of a felony forgery conviction and a misdemeanor theft conviction in 2012.

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