The Hawai`i Police Department has charged an 18-year-old Keaʻau man with burglary and theft stemming from two separate incidents reported Thursday afternoon at the Prince Kuhio Plaza in Hilo. He is identified as Hayden Bruce.
After conferring with county prosecutors, Bruce was charged with second-degree Burglary, Burglary of a building during an emergency period, and third-degree Theft.
Bruce remains in police custody in lieu of $7,500 bail. His initial court appearance is scheduled for Monday in Hilo District Court.
On Thursday afternoon, shortly before 3 p.m., South Hilo Patrol officers responded to a report of a burglary in-progress within a department store located within the Prince Kuhio Plaza, located at 111 E. Puainako Street in Hilo. It was reported that a male suspect had forcibly broken a plate glass window to the establishment and entered the store, which was closed for business. Upon entering the store, the male suspect was confronted by store employees. The suspect then exited the store and fled the area on foot. The retail establishment was currently closed due to the current COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
While officers were responding to the active burglary complaint, police dispatch received a report from another department store at the Prince Kuhio Plaza, of three males stealing clothing items and leaving the area on foot.
Police were contacted by a witness in the area that was able to provide a description of the responsible individuals, the vehicle they were operating, as well as the direction of travel. A short time later, officers located the vehicle.
The vehicle was located traveling south on Kanoelehua Avenue near Ikaika Street. A traffic stop was conducted, and the eight (8) occupants were arrested and transported to the Hilo Police Station. Along with Bruce, two additional adults identified as 21-year-old Troy Kuhns-Lono of Volcano, and 20-year-old Shon Sare of Keaau, as well as five (5) juveniles were arrested. The vehicle was recovered as evidence and towed to the Hilo Police Station, pending approval and execution of a search warrant to recover the stolen merchandise.
The five juveniles were processed, and four of them were released to the custody of their guardians. The fifth juvenile was arrested on an outstanding juvenile arrest warrant and transferred to the custody of juvenile probation.
During the course of this investigation, Bruce and two (2) of the juveniles were identified as being responsible for the theft at Sears. Upon conferring with prosecutors, Kuhns-Lono and Sare, as well as the, juveniles were released pending investigation. That case will be referred to the prosecutor’s office for their review.
Police want to remind the public that in light of the current COVID-19 (coronavirus) Emergency Proclamation, there are enhanced penalties for certain crimes, including but not limited to, burglary, theft, and robbery.