The Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaii recognized South Hilo Patrol Officer Andrew Springer on Thursday as the “Officer of the Month” for January 2019.
Officer Springer, who has 4-years of service with the Hawai`i Police Department, was nominated by Lieutenant Robert Almeida for his diligence in locating a stolen vehicle while he was off duty.
On January 14, Officer Springer was off duty but still in uniform after completing a special duty assignment in Hawaiian Beaches. As he was heading home on Highway 130 near Pāhoa he observed a black 2012 Toyota 4-Runner traveling in the opposite direction and recognized this as a reported stolen vehicle from an investigation he initiated on January 11 in Hilo.
Officer Springer turned around and observed the vehicle to turn into a Pāhoa Shopping center complex, locating the vehicle parked unattended in a stall. Officer Springer conducted surveillance and then observed a female party to exit a grocery store and return to the vehicle unlocking the driver’s door with a key. Officer Springer made contact with the female suspect and upon identifying her he learned she had an outstanding warrant.
While in contact with the suspect, employees from the grocery store came out and informed Officer Springer that the female was observed on video surveillance removing items from the store without paying, she was subsequently arrested for Shoplifting.
Puna Patrol Officers responded to assist and based on a Consent to Search authorized by the vehicle owner, a search was conducted which yielded a handgun from the center console of the vehicle. A check of the serial number on the handgun with police department Firearms section revealed that the Glock handgun was registered to HPD and was subsequently discovered to have been stolen.
The 26-year-old suspect was later charged with Unauthorized Control of a Propelled Vehicle, Theft I (for Firearm), Theft IV (Shoplifting), and other firearm and drug charges. Her bail was set at $16,500
As “Officer of the Month” Officer Springer is eligible for “Officer of the Year.” He was previously recognized last year as the Aloha Exchange Club’s May 2018 “Officer of the Month”.
The East Hawaii “Officer of the Month” award is a project of the Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaii.