A Hawaii island man set free earlier this month on supervised release by a Hilo judge was charged again last week with multiple offenses following another incident on the Fourth of July.
Nathan Niihau, 40, appeared in Hilo District Court on Friday after being charged Thursday by Hawaii County police with burglary during an emergency period, two counts of first-degree theft, two counts of first-degree criminal property damage, and resisting an order to stop. His total bail was set at $136,000.
Police said just before 11 p.m. on July 4, Niihau was spotted at a business in the 300 block of Kanoelehua Avenue in Hilo by an employee responding to a burglary alarm. That employee witnessed Niihau in a locked, fenced area, where he was seen placing various items from the business into the bed of a Nissan pickup truck that also belonged to the business. Niihau then forcefully drove the Nissan through a locked gate on the property to escape apprehension.
Big Isle police said prior to his arrest last week, Niihau was spotted operating the stolen truck on multiple occasions, including ramming a galvanized steel gate at a residence in Hakalau and later leading police on a short vehicle chase in Hilo.
Niihau was previously arrested June 30 while operating a stolen Jeep and charged with authorized control of a propelled vehicle, first-degree theft, third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, theft of credit card and unauthorized possession of confidential personal information, with bail set at $75,000.
Despite the objections of prosecutors, however, a judge at Hilo District Court granted him supervised release on July 1.
Police said Niihau is also linked to a June 1 burglary of a Hilo residence. That case remains open, pending charges by county prosecutors.