East Hawaii News

Alert Neighbor Foils Solar System Theft in HPP

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Police said an alert neighbor helped police make another burglary arrest following a break-in Wednesday at a Puna home.

A 42-year-old Hawaiian Paradise Park man called police shortly before 11:45 a.m. to report hearing noises from a nearby home that he knew should have been unoccupied at the time.

Responding officers found Ronald Keiki Lopes Jr. allegedly in the process of dismantling the home’s solar power system.

Police also allegedly observed an ice pipe with residue and syringes visible on the front seat of the car Lopes drove to the scene.

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Lopes, 29, of Keaau was arrested and taken to the Hilo cellblock while police continued with the burglary and drug investigation.

He was later charged with first-degree burglary, two counts of promoting a dangerous drug and two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia. His bail was set at $65,000.

Lt. Greg Esteban noted that public interaction with police can be a valuable crime-fighting tool.

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“Citizens are playing a more active role in protecting their communities and, as a result, programs such as Neighborhood Watch and Crime Stoppers are successful,” Esteban said. “Those extra sets of eyes have proven invaluable in effective police work.”

It was the second time in two days that a tip helped police foil an ongoing burglary in HPP.

Anyone with information on burglary activities can call Det. John Rodrigues Jr. at 961-2384 or email him at [email protected], or Detective Royce Serrao at 961-8810 or [email protected]

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Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 861-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona. Calls to CrimeStoppers are not recorded and the program does not subscribe to Caller ID

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