Police arrested three men after an alleged shoplifting incident on Tuesday afternoon at the Hilo Walmart store turned violent.
Officers responded shortly before 2 p.m. Tuesday to a robbery report at the store at 325 Makaala St.
Store employees told police that three men had concealed store items on their persons and left the building without paying. When confronted by an employee outside the store, one of the men reportedly punched the male employee in the jaw, knocking him to the ground. The three suspects then ran.
Police located the suspects nearby. They were identified as 21-year-old Michael Thomas, 18-year-old Daniel Kapumau and 19-year-old Ku Manuia. They were arrested and taken to the Hilo police cellblock pending further investigation.
On Wednesday, police charged Manuia with second-degree robbery and fourth-degree theft. His bail was set at $5,250. Thomas and Kapumau were both charged with fourth-degree theft. Their bail was set at $250 each.
All three are in custody pending their initial court appearances today.