Hawaii County police charged a 29-year-old Pahoa man Thursday with burglary in connection with the suspected looting of homes in the Leilani Estates subdivision, which was under a mandatory evacuation order due to a lava eruption.
The case has been classified as a burglary of a dwelling during an emergency, which is a Class A felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Alexandru Stingu-Dragomir was arrested Wednesday after a 66-year-old homeowner returned to his Moku Street home to retrieve his belongings and found a man leaving his home office with the house keys.
The homeowner and an acquaintance drove the man to a police checkpoint, and he was taken to the Hilo cellblock.
Detectives determined the man had also entered two other homes also on the 66-year-old homeowner’s property and a neighbor’s home on Moku Street, police said.
Stingu-Dragomir was charged on three counts of burglary of a dwelling, each a Class A felony, and one count of burglary of a building, a Class B felony, which occurred during an emergency period.