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Police arrest two men in connection with Kapa‘a bank robbery
KAPA‘A – Kaua'i police have arrested two men believed to be involved in Thursday’s robbery at the Bank of Hawaii in Kapa‘a.
Brandon Lee Hartberg, age 26, of Kapa‘a, is being held at Police Cellblock on suspicion of first-degree robbery in lieu of $100,000 bail.
Police believe 27-year-old Mathew Rose, a Lihue man, 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 Kapaa 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 Kapaa 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 Mathew Rose and his passenger was Brandon Hartberg.
At that time, a second unit went back to the Kapaa 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.
“I’d like to commend our police officers and the Air 1 pilot for their quick and diligent response. They captured the suspects in a timely manner without injury and also recovered key evidence that will help to hold the perpetrators responsible for their crimes,” stated Executive Police Chief Michael Contrades. “On behalf of the Kauai Police Department, I’d also like to express our gratitude to the community for remaining vigilant.”