Hilo Man Arrested for Stealing Bus for Second Time
Hawaiʻi Island police have charged Kawelo Nakamura, a 21-year-old Hilo man, for stealing a county mass transit bus for the second time.
At 1:36 a.m., Monday morning, Aug. 28, county employees reported that the lock on the gate to the County of Hawaiʻi Mass Transit baseyard was cut and the gates were found opened.
Reports received indicated that a 42-passenger bus was taken from the baseyard and may have been seen heading in the Hāmākua direction over the Wailuku Bridge on Highway 19 and later on Queen Ka‘ahumanu Highway near Mauna Lani.
At 6:24 a.m., police briefly pursued the bus after it was observed traveling into Hilo on Bayfront Highway, but the pursuit was discontinued in the interest of public safety.
At 6:45 a.m., the bus was located at the Kawamoto Swim Stadium where the suspect was taken into custody without incident. He was transported to the Hilo cellblock while detectives with the Criminal Investigation Section continued the investigation.
Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 29, police charged Nakamura with one count each of first-degree theft, resisting an order to stop, second-degree reckless endangering, reckless driving, driving without a commercial driver’s license, unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, criminal property damage and two counts of inattention to driving.
On Monday, Aug. 7, police had charged Nakamura with first-degree theft, accident involving vehicle/property damage, first-degree criminal property damage, unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle and driving without a commercial driver’s license in connection with a bus theft the previous day.
Nakamura is being held at the Hilo cellblock in lieu of $13,000 bail pending his initial appearance in South Hilo district court on Tuesday, Aug. 8.
His bail has been set at $42,000, and he is being held at the Hawaiʻi Community Correctional Center pending his initial appearance Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 30, in District Court.
Anyone who may have witnessed the incident or have any other information about it is asked to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311 or Detective Todd Pataray of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at (808) 961-2382 or Todd.Pataray@hawaiicounty.gov.
Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at (808) 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers does not record calls or subscribe to any caller ID service. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.
This information was provided by the authorities. All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.