By Wendy Osher
***UPDATE: Maui police today charged Bronson Foster Benson, 21, and Namon Kalani Parks, 31, both with two counts of first degree robbery. Bail for each was set at $100,000. Both remain in police custody, and are scheduled for court on Thursday, November 15, 2012. A third individual, Ty-Rhone Rodrigues, was subsequently released pending further investigation. ***
Maui police have three people in custody following reports of two gas stations that authorities say were robbed at gunpoint on Tuesday morning, Nov. 13, 2012.
Police tentatively identified the suspects involved as Bronson Foster Benson, 21 and Namon Kalani Parks, 31. A third person, Ty-Rhone Rodrigues, 20, who authorities say was within the same vehicle when the suspects were located, was also arrested.
Authorities say final charges are pending against all three, as an investigation is ongoing.
The first incident was reported at 5:11 a.m. at the Port Town Chevron gas station (formerly Kitagawa’s Chevron), located at 109 Ka’ahumanu Avenue in Kahului. According to police reports, Wailuku District Patrol Officers were called to the scene of what was described as a robbery involving a gun.
Upon arrival, officers learned that at approximately 5:05 a.m., two males entered the building, and as one of the males remained at the entrance doors, the other male approached the counter, brandished a handgun at the two employees and demanded the money, said Maui Police Lieutenant Wayne K. Ibarra.
After removing the money, the gunman and the other male who was at the doorway then exited and fled on foot towards Lono Avenue, police said.
A preliminary investigation revealed that the offenders then fled the area within an unknown vehicle, and that they had taken an estimated $300.
The gunman was described by authorities as a local male approximately 5-feet-5 to 5-feet-6-inches tall, weighing 140 pounds, and wearing a black long sleeve hooded sweater and jeans.
The second male was described as slightly taller, with a dark complexion, and wearing a long sleeve sweater, shorts and a baseball style cap, police said.
At about 6:11 a.m., Kihei District Patrol Officers were assigned to respond to a separate robbery involving a gun that had occurred at the mini mart of the Kihei Chevron Gas Station located at 1281 S. Kihei Road in South Maui.
Police said the descriptions of the two males involved in the Kihei incident matched the description of two males that had robbed the Port Town Chevron in Kahului.
Upon arrival officers learned that at approximately 6:05 a.m., a male entered the mini mart of the gas station, brandished a pistol, and demanded money from the register, as a second male stood just outside of the entrance to the mini mart, said Lt. Ibarra.
According to police reports, the cashier handed the money to the gunman, and the gunman and the other male who was outside the doorway then exited and fled on foot toward the Jack in the Box restaurant.
A preliminary police investigation revealed that the offenders had taken an estimated $131.
The Criminal Investigation Division, along with the Kihei District Patrol Officers, Crime Reduction Unit, and the Special Response Team responded and assisted in the investigation and tentatively identified the suspects involved as: Bronson Foster Benson and Namon Kalani Parks.
Officers located both Foster Benson and Parks in a sedan in a parking lot located at 1847 South Kihei Road at approximately 4:58 p.m. on Tuesday. Police say a third male, who was also within the vehicle, was identified as Ty-Rhone Rodrigues.
The vehicle has been recovered as evidence, and all three males were placed under arrest, however police say final charges are pending, as the investigation is still ongoing.
The two main suspects, Benson and Parks, were earlier this month arrested on suspicion of terroristic threatening in an incident in Kihei. Both were released on bail.