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Police search for Big Island escapees

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 12:14 p.m. HST, Sep 5, 2013

Hawaii County police are looking for two men who escaped from the Hale Nani minimum security facility in Hilo Wednesday night.

Inmates Robert Garcia, 23, and Andrew Wanat, 28, were not present for the official count at 10:30 p.m. The men were last seen between 8 and 9 p.m.

Garcia is 5 feet 7 inches and weighs 130 pounds with short black hair and brown eyes. He often wears a goatee and mustache, and he has tattoos on his right forearm and the left side of his neck. He was committed to the facility for parole violation and was to be released in October.

Wanat is 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs 210 pounds with brown eyes and short hair or a shaved head. He has tattoos on both inner forearms and on his entire outer left arm. He was committed to the facility for parole violations and was not eligible for release until January.

Wanat was arrested and charged in 2011 with first degree attempted robbery and second-degree assault in connection with a shooting in the parking lot of a business on Kuakini Highway.

Police said Wanant shot a 54-year-old Kailua-Kona man with a pellet gun on July 1, 2011 after the man gave chase when Wanat tried to steal the victim's wallet.

Court records show he agreed to plead guilty to a theft charge and was sent to Drug Court, where he violated the conditions of his release.

A judge issued a bench warrant for Wanat in January after he failed to appear in court and he was rearrested on Jan. 29.

They are known to frequent the Kona area and are not considered dangerous. They were last seen wearing white shirts with "HCCC" printed on the back. 

Big Island police ask anyone with information on this case or who may know the whereabouts of either man to contact Detective Clarence Davies at 961-2384 or or Detective Joel Field at 961-2381 or

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona

Hale Nani off Route 11 is a minimum security facility. It provides an offender reintegration and a work release program for sentenced inmates who will be released on the island of Hawaii.

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