East Hawaii News

Man Accused of Stealing State Truck, Altering ID Number

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A Hilo man has been charged with stealing a pickup truck belonging to the state and then changing its license plates and altering its serial number to hide the theft.

The Ford pickup was reported stolen from a repair shop on Pohaku Street on the morning of July 5. Police obtained video surveillance footage from the business.

On Oct. 3, police seized the truck after it was allegedly involved in another theft incident.

Believing that the truck may be stolen, detectives worked with the National Insurance Crime Bureau to determine that the vehicle identification number and license plates on it belonged to a different truck.

As a result of the investigation, Eddie Paaluhi Poai, 37, was charged Wednesday with two counts of first-degree unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, fraudulent use of a license plate and altering a motor vehicle serial number.

His bail was set at $22,000.


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