Hawaii County police issue drug warning after Kamuela pharmacy robbery
Hawaii County police are advising the public to be aware of potentially dangerous prescription drugs that were stolen Friday in the armed robbery of a Waimea pharmacy.
The investigation has thus far led to the identification of a suspect, the arrest of his wife and the apparent suicide of a man in the couple's Waimea home.
An autopsy was scheduled today to determine the man's identity.
The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported today that the man is believed to be 37-year-old Raleigh Patrick Nanaikapono Freitas of Waimea.
The newspaper says Freitas has an extensive criminal history, with 33 convictions for a variety of charges including burglary, robbery, theft and assault, possession of drug paraphernalia and promotion of dangerous drugs.
The events were put into motion when a man with a knife entered the Longs Drug Store on Kawaihae Street and demanded Fentanyl and Oxycontin.
When a pharmacist told the man the store did not stock those drugs, the man opened a drawer and removed numerous controlled substances.
The man — who covered his nose and mouth with a cloth and wore a hooded shirt, camouflage pants, latex gloves and slippers — fled on foot in the direction of the Waimea Nature Park and Carter Professional Center.
Police identified a suspect and later arrested his wife, identified as 34-year-old Rochelle Freitas, who had been trying to fill a prescription in the pharmacy minutes before the robbery.
While searching for Freitas' husband, police received a 911 call reporting a man with a gunshot wound at a residence later determined to be the Freitases'. Police said it appeared the man killed himself.
Rochelle Freitas has been released while police continue their investigation.