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Big Isle man charged in theft of exotic fruit

By Star-Advertiser Staff

LAST UPDATED: 6:02 a.m. HST, Dec 30, 2010

A 56-year-old Hilo man was charged with felony theft for stealing fruit from a Big Island farm in Hilo.

Hilo police arrested Gary Pavao at a Kaiwiki Road farm after he was caught with 14.7 pounds of longan allegedly taken without permission.

Hilo police responded to a call at 8:27 a.m. Monday and found the farm's owners had held a trespasser allegedly caught with the fruit.

Police said that Pavao was linked to two other thefts of fruit from the same farm.

Pavao was charged with three counts of second-degree theft.

He made his initial appearance in Hilo District Court yesterday and remains in custody at the Hawaii County Correctional Center in lieu of $30,000 bail.

Longan is a tropical fruit related to the lychee.

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