Bank robbed; suspect arrested

Less than two hours after a Wailea bank branch was robbed Thursday morning, police arrested a 33-year-old homeless man from Pennsylvania as a suspect in the robbery.

Police impounded the man’s silver-colored moped, which fit the description of one that the robber was seen fleeing on, police said.

The robbery occurred at 9:01 a.m. when the robber entered the Wailea branch of First Hawaiian Bank at 161 Wailea Iki Place. He approached a teller with a note demanding that money be placed in a paper bag.

The robber fled with an undisclosed amount of cash and was seen operating a silver moped that headed west down Wailea Iki Drive.

At 10:30 a.m., Kihei patrol officers checking the Wailea and Makena area located the moped parked fronting the “White Rock” beach area off Old Makena Road near Polo Beach Club. Police located the homeless man matching the description of the robber, who was described as 5-foot-4 to 5-foot-8 with a husky build, police said. Police said the suspect was wearing the same type of clothing as the robber, who was seen wearing a black T-shirt and black surf shorts.

Police said a digital photo of the suspect was compared with bank surveillance tapes and, after detectives conferred with bank employees, the suspect “was positively identified as the same person who robbed the bank.”

On Thursday afternoon, police had not charged the suspect, pending a search of his moped and property for any of the stolen money, said Lt. Jayson Rego of the Criminal Investigation Division.