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Banks on high alert as search for Big Island escapees continues

By Star Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 2:00 p.m. HST, Dec 6, 2012

Hawaii island police have recommended heightened security measures at financial institutions as the search for two Hawaii Community Corrections Center escapees continues. 

According to police, information has been received that the two escapees intend to rob a bank.

Jarvis Naoki Higa, 35, and Ryan James Jeffries-Hamar, 31, escaped from the Hilo prison Wednesday.

Higa was being held at the facility awaiting trial on an attempted murder charge after allegedly shooting at a 34-year-old Hilo man in July.

Jeffries-Hamar was serving his sentence for a parole violation and awaiting trial for a previous escape from the Hale Nani facility in August.

Police said both men are considered dangerous, and Higa may be armed.

Higa is described as Japanese, about 5-foot-6 tall, about 160 pounds with short black hair and tattoos on his chest. 

Jeffries-Hamar is described as Caucasian, about 5-foot-7, about 170 pounds, with blue eyes and short reddish-brown hair.

On Wednesday morning the two inmates overpowered and assaulted a corrections officer in the jail’s library, threatened the librarian and took her car keys. They then forced their way out of the building, got into the librarian’s car and drove off.  

The corrections officer, 63, was taken to Hilo Medical Center, where he was treated for injuries not considered life threatening and released. The librarian, 49, was not injured.

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