East Hawaii News

UPDATE: Jeffries-Hamar Charged with Escape, Robbery

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***Updated at 5 p.m. on Dec. 14.***

Police late Thursday night captured Ryan Jeffries-Hamar, the second of two inmates who escaped from the Hawaii Community Correctional Center more than a week ago.

Jeffries-Hamar, 31, was arrested at about 10:40 p.m. at a home on Kawakawa Street in the Hawaiian Beaches subdivision near Pahoa, police said in a statement issued at 12:36 a.m. today.

Police also arrested another man at the residence, Tyler Tzovarras, 30, of Pahoa on suspicion of assisting Jeffries-Hamar.

Both were taken to the Hilo police station for processing.


Jeffries-Hamar was arrested in connection with the Dec. 5 jailbreak in which he and fellow inmate Jarvis Higa assaulted a guard, broke through a gate and fled in a car stolen from the facility’s librarian.

After conferring with prosecutors, detectives charged Jeffries-Hamar with first-degree escape, second-degree assault, second-degree robbery, kidnapping, second-degree unlawful imprisonment, unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, and third-degree criminal property damage. He is being held without bail at the Hilo police cellblock pending his initial appearance Monday afternoon.

Police said Tzovarras was arrested for hindering prosecution in the first degree and also on an outstanding bench warrant. He was initially being held without charges pending additional investigation.

Higa was previously captured on Dec. 7 in Ocean View in the Ka`u District.


Police said earlier Thursday they received information on multiple sightings of Jeffries-Hamar in Kona. Police tracked him from Kona to Puna after investigation revealed that he left Kona on the back of a motorcycle that passed through Kaʻu and was headed for Puna.

Members of a task force made up of officers from the Kona and Hilo Districts, a state sheriff’s deputy and patrol officers from the Puna District went to the home on Kawakawa Street where they found Jeffries-Hamar hiding in a bedroom.

Police Capt. Robert Wagner, head of Hilo Patrol, said tips from the public were invaluable in helping police locate both escaped inmates during the eight-day manhunt.

After last week’s breakout, police said they expected Jeffries-Hamars to flee to Kona where he had previously lived. Kona is also where he was captured in September after escaping in August from the Hale Nani Correctional Facility in Hilo.


At that time Jeffries-Hamar was on an extended furlough from a previous prison term and required to report regularly to Hale Nani, but left the facility through a kitchen window.

At the time of his recent escape he was being held at HCCC on a parole violation awaiting trial on the escape charge.

Higa, 35, is currently being held at the Oahu Community Correctional Center. He faces a variety of charges connected with last week’s escape.

Higa is also awaiting trial for attempted murder for a July incident in which he allegedly shot at a man at a Hilo condominium.

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