Hawaii island police arrested three men and five juveniles following an alleged burglary at a department store in the Prince Kuhio Plaza in Hilo that had been shuttered by the coronavirus pandemic — and a simultaneous alleged theft at a different store inside the plaza on Thursday.
Because of an emergency COVID-19 proclamation, police said there are enhanced penalties for certain crimes that include burglary, theft and robbery.
Shortly before 3 p.m. Thursday, officers responded to a burglary at a department store at Prince Kuhio Plaza, which is located at 111 East Puainako St.
A suspect allegedly broke a plate glass window to get into the store, police said. Even though the department store was closed because of the pandemic, employees were inside and confronted the suspect, who fled on foot.
At the same time, police dispatch received a report from another department store in the plaza that three males had stolen clothing and were leaving the area on foot.
A witness gave police a description of the suspects, the vehicle they were in and their direction of travel.
Officers saw the vehicle heading south on Konoelehua Avenue near Ikaika Street, stopped it and arrested the eight occupants.
The vehicle was towed to the Hilo police station, where officers planned to execute a search warrant to try to recover stolen merchandise.
Police identified the adult suspects as Troy Kuhns-Lono, 21, of Volcano; Shon Sare, 20, of Keaau; and Hayden Bruce, 18, of Keaau.
Four of the juveniles were released to the custody of their guardians. The fifth juvenile was arrested on an outstanding juvenile arrest warrant and transferred to juvenile probation.
Police are asking any witnesses to contact Det. Tuckloy Aurello of the Area I Juvenile Aid Section at 961-8843 or email firstname.lastname@example.org., or Det. Gavin Kagimoto of the Area I Juvenile Aid Section at 961-2276 or email email@example.com., or the police department’s non-emergency number at (808) 935-3311.