East Hawaii News

Stolen Tractor-Trailer Incident Leads to Arrest, Road Closure

March 31, 2016, 11:08 AM HST
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badgeA series of crimes involving a stolen tractor-trailer that ultimately caused the closure of Pilipaa Street in Hilo Wednesday evening are being investigated by authorities.

The Hawai’i Police Department reported Wednesday evening to an incident involving a tractor and trailer that struck two vehicles and a house on Pilipaa Street.

Officers arriving at the scene found several individuals restraining the alleged driver of the tractor-trailer as he was seen walking away from the scene.

The tractor, trailer, and its contents were stolen from a business on Maka’ala Street and was observed driving through a closed gate.

Witnesses at the Pilipaa scene told officers that the stolen tractor-trailer struck a vehicle and ran another vehicle off the road on Pilipaa Street before striking and severing a utility pole.

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In addition, the tractor-trailer continued southbound on Pilipaa Street before running off the street and striking a house.

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Police say neither of the drivers or occupants of the house were injured.

Solomon Aloha Kepano, 30, was arrested on suspicion of first-degree theft, fourth-degree theft, third-degree criminal property damage, accident involving damage to a vehicle or property, and two counts of first-degree reckless endangering.

Kepano, a Hilo resident, remains in police custody at the Hilo police cellblock as Area I Criminal Investigation Section detectives continue to investigate.

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Pilipaa Street between Puaninako Avenue and Kahaopea Street was closed until just after 8 a.m. Thursday as a result of downed powerlines.

Temporary repairs were completed by Hawai’i Electric Light.

Anyone who witnessed a white Freightliner and a white container trailer traveling through the industrial area onto Kanoelehua Avenue, Puaianko Avenue, or Pilipaa Street in Hilo should contact the Police Deparment’s non-emergency line at 935-3311, or contact Detective Dean Uyetake by phone at 961-2379 or via e-mail at [email protected]

Individuals who prefer to remain anonymous should call the Big Island Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300.

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