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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, June 29, 2006

Ma'ili man charged in robbery

By Curtis Lum
Advertiser Staff Writer


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The suspectís wife and a co-worker identified him as the person seen in the surveillance photos from one of the Subway sandwich shop robberies, according to affidavits filed in court.

Honolulu Police Department

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Federal authorities yesterday charged a 40-year-old Ma'ili man with the June 24 gunpoint robbery of the Subway sandwich shop in Waimalu.

Vicente D. Leonor Jr. was charged in a federal criminal complaint with robbery and using a firearm while committing a crime. He was being held without bail.

Leonor was arrested Monday in connection with the June 24 robbery, as well as a holdup Sunday of the 'Aiea Subway shop. In the latter case, police said the robber fired a warning shot at two employees.

The robberies were investigated by Honolulu police, but turned over to federal authorities for prosecution. The assistant U.S. attorney handling the case could not be reached for comment yesterday about why Leonor was charged with only one of the robberies.

Leonor was arrested just hours after surveillance photographs at one of the robberies were released by CrimeStoppers. Leonor was identified by a co-worker who saw the photos, according to an affidavit filed in U.S. District Court yesterday.

When Honolulu police Detective Paul Nagata went to Leonor's home, the suspect's wife also confirmed that the man in the photos was her husband, the affidavit said. The Subway employees also picked Leonor out of a photo lineup, the affidavit said.

On June 24, a man entered the Subway store on Ka'ahumanu Street about 8:30 p.m. and pointed a black handgun at an employee. The man, identified in the affidavit as Leonor, demanded money.

The woman told police she became nervous and began to shake. She retreated to the back of the store, but Leonor continued to shout his demands.

Another worker told the first employee that it would be safer for them to comply with Leonor's demands and they opened the cash register and gave him some cash, the affidavit said.

In Sunday's robbery, a man confronted two female employees at the Subway store in the 'Aiea Commercial Building and demanded money. Nagata said the man became impatient and fired a shot to the rear of the store, away from the employees.

No one was injured in either robbery.

Reach Curtis Lum at culum@honoluluadvertiser.com.