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Hawaii island police arrest teenager after stolen county truck burned

  • HAWAII POLICE DEPARTMENT

    This 2016 Ford F350 utility tool box truck, valued at $70,000, was stolen from a mass transit base yard Saturday and found burned in a remote Puna subdivision Monday.

A 19-year-old Puna man was in police custody today in connection with a crime spree surrounding a stolen county truck, Hawaii island police said.

Saturday morning, someone stole a 2016 Ford F350 utility tool box truck with a lift gate from the county’s mass transit base yard on East Lanikaula Street in Hilo, police said.

Over the weekend, the vehicle was seen being driven recklessly throughout Hilo and was involved in two police pursuits and two hit-and-run collisions with members of the public, police said.

Monday afternoon, someone in the stolen truck fired a gun out of the vehicle near bystanders in Hawaiian Paradise Park, but no one was hurt and no property was damaged, police said. Responding patrol officers opened a reckless endangering investigation.

Later that afternoon, the county truck was found engulfed in flames in the remote Fern Forest subdivision in Puna. Police opened an arson investigation for the $70,000 vehicle, which was destroyed.

Also Monday afternoon, police were trying capture the teenager who was seen driving a stolen Toyota 4Runner in Mountain View in Puna when the teen abandoned the SUV in an attempt to flee, police said.

He and an accomplice ran into nearby bushes, but a police tracking dog found the suspect. His accomplice got away.

Police arrested the teen for investigation of unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle. Police added that the stolen SUV was connected to the stolen county truck.

The suspect was being held Tuesday at the Hilo cellblock pending charges.

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