HONOLULU (KHON2) — Around 12 p.m. before the annual Lahaina Halloween Party began, police say a man wearing a dark robe and a mask walked into one of the businesses on Front Street in Lahaina.
“The male offender demanded merchandise from the male sales representative,” said Sgt. John Sang with the Maui Police Department. “The sales representative handed the merchandise over. He presented a firearm when he made the demand.”
Police say the robber then fled on foot.
“Our patrol officers while responding, did make extensive check in the area for the offender however, they were not able to locate him,” said Sang.
Other businesses and residents in the area heard about the frightening incident.
“There’s a lot of people that were very concerned. Some people aren’t coming tonight and that’s unfortunate,” said Kathlena Parkinson, who works nearby.
The Halloween Party on Front Street began at 4 p.m. After this afternoon’s robbery and because of the large amount of people expected, police said they’re on alert.
“We are deploying nearly 100 of our officers to front street and surrounding areas. We will have a very strong police presence,” said Sang.
Police said they will also be inspecting all toy guns, knives, swords and any other weapons that are part of costumes.
However, some say they still can’t believe this happened on Halloween.
“Just kind of took the opportunity today because of the opportunity to wear a mask to do it…,” said Kathlena Parkinson.
The police said this also poses its own set of challenges.
“Anyone who’s wearing a mask will be difficult to identify. They’ve already obliterated many of the identifying features. So it does, the mask do present a challenge to investigators,” said Sang.
The search for the suspect has been suspended for tonight but will continue tomorrow.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Maui Police Department.