Police arrest 2 in connection with Kapa‘a bank robbery

Local News
Brandon Lee Hartberg and Mathew Rose_136330

Kauai police have arrested two men believed to be involved in Thursday’s robbery of the Bank of Hawaii in Kapa’a.

Brandon Lee Hartberg, 26, of Kapa’a is being held at police cellblock on suspicion of first-degree robbery in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Police believe Mathew Rose, 27, of Lihue was also involved in the incident. He, too, was arrested for first-degree robbery and is being held on $100,000 bail.

According to a preliminary investigation, a male suspect entered the bank at approximately 10:40 a.m. He was holding what appeared to be a rifle wrapped in a towel and demanded money from a female teller. The suspect then fled the scene on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Patrol officers were on scene within minutes and secured the area. In total, roughly 20 Kauai police officers and detectives responded to the scene and searched the surrounding area.

Two officers on board Air 1 were conducting an aerial search at around 12:30 p.m., when they noticed a suspicious vehicle leaving the Kapa’a County Cemetery on Kanaele Road.

Air 1 monitored the vehicle, a green sedan, as it headed down Hau’a’ala Road onto Kuhio Highway. The car initially headed north toward Kealia, when it made a sudden U-turn and began traveling south toward Kapa’a town.

Patrol officers stopped the vehicle just south of the Kaiakea fire station and brought the male driver and his passenger in for questioning. The driver was later identified as Rose and his passenger was Hartberg.

At that time, a second unit went back to the Kapa’a County Cemetery and located what appeared to be the dark-hooded sweatshirt the suspect wore during the robbery, along with an air rifle wrapped in a towel.

Police continued their investigation into the night, which led them to an area of overgrown brush off Moa Road in Kapa’a to search for the stolen money. At around 8 p.m., officers located over $1,000 in cash hidden in the brush and detectives believe this is the money stolen from the bank.

Police have identified Hartberg as the suspect who robbed the bank. As the driver of the getaway vehicle, Rose was also arrested for his involvement in the crime.

This investigation remains ongoing and anyone with information on the incident is urged to contact Det. Christian Jenkins at 241-1680 or Police Dispatch, 241-1711. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call CrimeStoppers at 246-8300.

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