HPD: Kailua-Kona Purse Snatchers Nabbed
A man and a woman have been charged with theft and other offenses stemming from an incident at a restaurant in Waimea on Friday afternoon, Aug. 26.
At 2:30 p.m., a 64-year-old Paʻauilo woman reported that she was at a restaurant in a shopping center on the 67-1100 block of Māmālahoa Highway when a man grabbed her purse off the table and fled to an SUV in the parking lot being driven by a woman.
The victim followed and grabbed the driver side mirror of the SUV in an attempt to prevent the car from leaving. The SUV left the parking lot, causing the victim to fall to the ground. She was treated at North Hawaiʻi Community Hospital for minor injuries and released.
Witnesses provided police with the license plate of the SUV.
Shortly before 4 p.m., Kona Patrol officers spotted the SUV as it pulled into the parking lot of a store off Highway 190 in Kailua-Kona.
Police arrested the driver, 38-year-old Linda Chong Tim-Castro of Kailua-Kona, and a passenger, 35-year-old Gary Paula‘au of Kailua-Kona. A second passenger, 20-year-old Scott Vasconcellos-Rego of Waimea, was arrested on a bench warrant for violating terms of release on bail.
All three were taken to the Kona police cellblock while detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section continued the investigation.
At 1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 28, Tim-Castro was charged with reckless endangering, theft, theft/forgery of a credit card and unauthorized possession of personal confidential information. Her bail was set at $10,500.
Paula‘au was charged with theft, theft/forgery of a credit card, unauthorized possession of personal confidential information, promoting a dangerous drug, possessing drug paraphernalia and contempt of court. His bail was set at $50,200.
Vasconcellos-Rego was charged on a no-bail warrant for violating terms of release on bail.
All three remained at the cellblock until their initial court appearances on Monday, Aug. 29.