Lieutenant Robert Fujitake was honored on Thursday as the Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaii’s “August Officer of the Month.”
On August 29, Lt. Fujitake was off-duty and traveling with his family when he observed a male walking a bicycle on the shoulder of the road and then into a store parking lot. He saw the male lean the bike against a wall and then walk away. As they drove past, Lt. Fujitake asked his wife to turn their vehicle around as “something just didn’t look right.” As they did, he was unable to immediately locate the male.
Then a few minutes later Lt. Fujitake observed the male exiting a carport of a nearby residence with an object in his hand, which he did not have with him when he was seen earlier. Lt. Fujitake contacted the on-duty supervisor and provided a physical description and location of the male while he maintained a safe distance as he had his family with him.
Lt. Fujitake and his team of Community Policing Officers were actively investigating a series of burglaries that were reported in the Industrial Area and as a result, his officers developed leads that led to the positive identification of a suspect who was observed on video surveillance footage, as committing a burglary at a restaurant on Lanikaula Street.
As Lt. Fujitake approached the suspect with the other officers, he immediately observed unique tattoos on the lower legs of the suspect, which were consistent with the tattoos that were visible on the suspect at the time of the burglary. Lt. Fujitake shared this observation with the responding officers, who subsequently arrested the suspect.
As a direct result of Lt. Fujitake’s keen observation skills and high level of vigilance, police were able to resolve a series of burglaries, thefts, and auto thefts with the apprehension of the suspect and more importantly, stop a “one-man crime wave.”
The Hawai`i Police Department says Lt. Fujitake exemplifies the desirable qualities as a member of the department and is deserving of the recognition as the “Officer of the Month” for his commitment to the department and community.
HPD provided image.