Oxycodone robbery recalled at preliminary hearing

WAILUKU – After entering a Longs Pharmacy in Kihei and demanding oxycodone, a robber said, “Don’t make me use this,” employees testified Tuesday.

“He said, ‘I want oxycodone now,’ ” said pharmacy tech Debbie Kaho’ohanohano. “He raised his hand and said, ‘Don’t make me use this’ and pointed down.”

She said she couldn’t see what the robber was pointing at.

“He looked angry,” Kaho’ohanohano said. “It scared me.”

During a preliminary hearing Tuesday afternoon in Wailuku District Court, Kaho’ohanohano and pharmacy manager Shelly Seidman identified defendant Dell Roberts as the robber who entered the pharmacy in the Lipoa Center at about 9:30 a.m. July 31.

The robber left with three bottles of oxycodone, fleeing on a silver moped, Seidman said.

Roberts, 36, who also is known as Delmar Roberts, was arrested the following day by Kihei patrol officers.

In court Tuesday, Judge Kelsey Kawano ruled that there was enough evidence to support charges of second-degree robbery, second-degree theft and third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug against Roberts.

He is being held in lieu of $20,000 bail at the Maui Community Correctional Center.

Detective Wendell Loo, who interviewed Roberts after his arrest, said that the defendant reported having withdrawals from oxycodone when he awoke the morning of the robbery.

Because he didn’t want to go through withdrawals, Roberts said he borrowed his friend’s moped from his campsite and went to the pharmacy, Loo testified.

He said Roberts reported pacing and waiting outside the pharmacy until a soda deliveryman left.

“That’s when he went in,” Loo said.

Kaho’ohanohano and Seidman were behind the counter when the robber walked up to the cash register.

Seidman said she asked, “Can I help you?”

“And he said, ‘Yes, give me a bottle of oxys, oxycodone,’ ” Seidman said. “I looked at him and said, ‘You’re kidding, right?’

“He said, ‘No, give me some oxycodone 30s right now,’ ” referring to the 30-milligram dosage, she said.

Seidman said she told the robber, “OK, OK,” and went to the locked narcotics cabinet. “It took me three times,” she said, to unlock the cabinet.

The robber apparently had followed her and was also behind the counter, she said.

“I heard him saying, ‘Hurry up, hurry up, hurry up,’ ” Seidman said. “I opened the door and I grabbed three bottles.”

Seidman said the robber’s light brown hair was “quite distinctive,” with shaved spots and what resembled small braided dreadlocks.

Noting that Roberts’ hair was different in court Tuesday, Deputy Prosecutor Lewis Littlepage asked Seidman, “Are you absolutely certain this is the same person?”

“Yes,” she replied.

Loo said he showed Roberts a still image from surveillance video showing him reaching for something that was green.

“He said it was a plastic gun,” Loo said. “He said he discarded it somewhere. He didn’t want to tell me where.”

During the interview, Roberts was cooperative and “very agitated,” Loo said.

He told the detective, “I don’t know why I did it.”

Roberts is scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 15 in 2nd Circuit Court.

* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at lfujimoto@mauinews.com.