East Hawaii News

Souki, Namohala Named ‘Officer of the Month’

April 24, 2015, 8:28 AM HST
* Updated April 24, 8:30 AM
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East Hawai’i Officers Brian Souki and Edwin Namohala have each been named “Officer of the Month” for March and April, respectively. The pair was honored by the Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawai’i at a luncheon ceremony that took place at the Hilo Yacht Club on Thursday.

Officer Souki is a Puna patrol officer who was honored for his role in capturing two suspects in a string of island wide auto thefts.

Officer Namohala, assigned to the South Hilo district, was honored for a burglary investigation.

During a patrol in the Ainaloa subdivision on January 24, Officer Souki noticed a man acting in a suspicious manner. The man was in a parked red Mazda RX-7 along Ainaloa Boulevard. He exited the car and entered a black Honda coupe, then left the area.

After noting the license plate of the Honda, Officer Souki determined that the Mazda was a vehicle that had been reportedly stolen during a burglary the night prior. Along with the vehicle, the suspects had stolen firearms and two additional vehicles.

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Upon an additional patrol unit arriving at the scene to assist in securing the stolen Mazda, Officer Souki searched the area and located the Honda at a home in the same subdivision. A man and a juvenile male were arrested prior to being able to flee. During that time, Officer Souki determined that the Honda’s identification numbers had been removed.

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A search of the vehicle was conducted after obtaining a search warrant. Detectives discovered a glass smoking pipe with methamphetamine residue, a packet with 2.8 grams of methamphetamine, and the firearm that was stolen the night prior.

Police arrested the man for auto theft, altering motor vehicle serial numbers, promoting a dangerous drug, and drug paraphernalia. Also arrested was the juvenile, who police took into custody for contempt of court and altering motor vehicle serial numbers.

In the process, both vehicles were recovered by police.

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“Officer Souki’s determination and thorough investigation led to the capture of two elusive individuals consistently involved in numerous auto thefts and burglary,” said Acting Sergeant Nelson Acob in nomination papers. “His actions exemplify our department’s core values of integrity, professionalism, compassion, teamwork and community satisfaction.”

On Thursday, Officer Namohala was honored for his assignment to investigate a burglary on February 23.

Someone attempted to break into a home on Kapualani Street belonging to an 88-year-old Hilo man. The man was able to provide a description of the suspect. Officer Namohala checked the neighborhood and discovered that another home on the same street was broken into. In the break-in, the suspect removed a variety of items, including electronics and mail.

Officer Namohala’s investigation led to the identity of the suspect, a 19-year-old man who had an outstanding arrest warrant. The next day, the suspect was spotted on foot in the Puainako Street and Kawili Street area. He was wearing a backpack that belonged to the second burglary victim.

After locating the suspect, Officer Namohala called for assistance from other officers in the area. Following a short foot race, the suspect was arrested on the warrant and for drug offenses stemming from an inventory search.

Am investigation by Office Namohala and officers from a special Burglary Detail linked the suspect to two burglaries. The link led to the recovery of items taken from the second house. Police charged the suspect with a variety of offenses.

“Although the investigation was taken over by officers specifically assigned to burglaries, I have no doubt that Officer Namohala has the investigative skill and techniques that would have led to the same outcome,” said Sergeant Lorenzo Artienda in nomination papers. “As the supervisor on duty, I was greatly impressed by the investigative efforts put forth by Officer Namohala. He showed a great deal of determination in his attempts to identify and arrest a suspect in a Hilo neighborhood plagued by burglaries.”

Both Officer Souki and Office Namohala are eligible for “Officer of the Year” after being named “Officer of the Month.”

“Officer of the Month” is a project of the Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawai’i.

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