Tips wanted after armed robbers steal $26,000 in cigarettes from delivery truck

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Honolulu police say it’s a robbery like they’ve never seen before.

Police are searching for suspects who stole more than $26,000 worth of cigarettes from a delivery truck in Ewa Beach.

It happened on Tuesday, June 28, at approximately 8 p.m., on a remote stretch of road near Barbers Point Golf Course.

Authorities say the victim and a passenger were in a delivery truck driving westbound in the area of Roosevelt Avenue and Essex Road when a green pickup truck pulled alongside them. The front passenger in the green truck brandished a handgun and ordered them to pull over.

The delivery truck stopped on the roadway adjacent to the wastewater treatment center, and the victims were ordered to exit and lie face-down on the ground.

Additional suspects in a white sedan arrived at the scene, and the victims were ordered to unlock the rear of the delivery truck.

The suspects removed 35 yellow crates containing 290 cartons of cigarettes, then fled in an unknown direction.

“We haven’t had a report of anything like this before,” said Sgt. Kim Buffett with CrimeStoppers. “It’s not a random. They obviously knew what they were looking for. All they take from the truck is cigarettes.”

Buffett says the truck was carrying various items and had already completed a few stops by then.

We called the truck delivery company, but it did not want to be identified for fear of getting targeted again, and could not comment because it is an open investigation.

The suspects were described as possible local males wearing black clothing with some type of cloth covering the lower portion of their faces. The suspects spoke pidgin.

The suspects’ vehicles are described as a green older Nissan pickup truck with Cadillac-type rims and a white sedan.

HPD also wants customers to be on the lookout for suspicious cigarette sales.

“Large stores are not going to buy it from Joe Blow, but the mom-and-pop shops and even individuals selling to friends,” Buffett said. “We are talking here, 35 yellow crates containing 290 cartons of cigarettes with a street value of $26,000. Every single one of them is tax-stamped.”

Unless you purchase from a military base, all cigarettes sold in Hawaii are stamped with a Hawaii seal. Since the stolen cigarettes are already stamped, HPD says it makes it harder to catch the suspects, so it needs the public’s help.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 955-8300 or text “CS808” plus your message to 274637 or CRIMES.

CrimeStoppers will pay a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information that leads to the arrest of a suspect.

Do not approach any suspect. All suspects and wanted fugitives should be considered armed and dangerous. All calls are confidential and anonymous.

CrimeStoppers rewards are not paid to persons who participate in a crime, or are victims of a crime, or in missing person cases.

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