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Hawaii island man charged in crime spree that started in Puna

  • Phillip Richardson is charged in a crime spree. (COURTESY HAWAII POLICE DEPARTMENT)

    Phillip Richardson is charged in a crime spree. (COURTESY HAWAII POLICE DEPARTMENT)

Hawaii island authorities on Monday charged a 27-year-old man, formerly of Pahoa, with second-degree robbery and other offenses in a crime spree that started with an attempted carjacking in Puna last weekend.

Police arrested Phillip Richardson on May 4.

Police said a 28-year-old woman reported she was dropping off a relative at the house when Richardson allegedly opened her car door, identified himself as a police officer and demanded the car keys.

The woman said he also grabbed her and tried to forcibly pull her out of the car.

A 76-year-old relative of the woman, who was inside the vehicle, tried to call 911 with his cell phone, but the man took the phone from him before he could complete the call.

The woman, however, managed to call a 29-year-old man for help.

When he arrived, the suspect then tried to get into that man’s vehicle, grabbed his arm, and tried to open the vehicle door.

Richardson reportedly fled the scene in a pickup truck, police said.

Shortly afterward, police got a report of a pickup truck ramming into a house on 17th Avenue. A 36-year-old resident told police the driver got out of the truck and came into her house through a window and then fled on foot into the bushes.

The woman reported a safe missing from her home and a vehicle on the property had been broken into and items taken.

Police, during their investigation, discovered a 63-year-old man on 1st Avenue reported a man, who drove a pickup truck, forced his way into his home and took a computer.

Prosecutors charged Richardson with two counts of second-degree attempted robbery, one count of interfering with an emergency call, one count of impersonating a law enforcement officer, two counts of first-degree burglary, one count of first-degree unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle, noe count of fourth-degree criminal property damage and resisting an order to stop. Richardson’s bail was set at $83,000.

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