East Hawaii News

HPD Warns of Spike in Hilo Auto Thefts

April 17, 2015, 2:10 PM HST
* Updated April 17, 2:12 PM
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A recent spike in auto thefts in Hilo has prompted the Hawai‘i Police Department to issue a public warning.

Thirty-eight vehicles were reported stolen in Hilo in March, compared with 21 in March last year, and 19 in February this year.  In addition, police responded to eight attempted auto thefts.

The most commonly targeted vehicles are Honda sedans, followed by Toyota and Nissan pickups.  Only four of the stolen vehicles were taken from homes, while the majority were taken when parked at businesses or in commercial parking lots.

Ten persons were arrested on suspicion of auto theft during this same period, with one person arrested for stealing a motorcycle.  Seventeen of the stolen vehicles have been recovered, according to police.

Major Randy Apele says the thefts appear to be crimes of opportunity.

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“We urge the public to take precautions against auto theft by removing keys from the ignition of parked vehicles, locking the doors, rolling up the windows, and hiding or remove valuables and any papers containing personal information,” Apele said. “Also, we urge everyone to be vigilant and alert to suspicious persons or activities around parking areas.”

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The public is asked to report any suspicious activity to the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Those who wish to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.

 

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