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Armed Robber Caught After Citizen Listening to Scanner Calls 9-1-1 to Report Sighting of Suspect’s Pickup Truck

Sat March 02 2013 12:18 am
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A police report states that a civilian listening to a police scanner in Hilo, Hawaii saw a pickup truck matching the description of a pickup truck that was used in an armed robbery. The citizen called police inform them of the location of the suspect’s vehicle. The pickup truck was spotted on Makaala Street and the civilian with the scanner called police. A police officer then spotted the truck and the suspect at Hilo Propane on Makaala. Police arrested Menino at about 12:30 p.m. and seized the truck as evidence, after he was suspected of robbing Rainbow-Jo women’s clothing boutique and Tiny Bubbles baby clothing boutique. Police reported that an unloaded .22 caliber revolver was in plain sight in an infant seat on the rear passenger seat. A red leather-like purse was also recovered as evidence.

Store clerk, Rachel Conder, told police that a woman entered the store alone, walked up to a cash register, threw a reddish-brown purse on the glass counter, brandished a handgun and demanded all the money from the cash register at Rainbow-Jo. The clerk handed over $137 from the cash register, and also from Tiny Bubbles’s cash register. When the suspect fled, the clerk was able to capture a photo of the truck fleeing as it turned right from Furneaux Lane onto Keawe Street, and got the license plate number. Conder also identified Menino from a photographic lineup.

Suspect Tia Menino, 23, of Hilo, pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree robbery, use of a firearm in commission of a separate felony, first-degree terroristic threatening, third-degree theft, two counts of fourth-degree theft, and three other firearms violations. Hilo Circuit Judge Greg Nakamura ordered Menino to stand trial on June 17 at 9 a.m.

First-degree robbery and use of a firearm while committing a felony are both Class A felonies punishable by a 20-year prison term.

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