UPDATE: Puna Man Charged With Robbery

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badge-1-150x150UPDATE: Sept. 27

A Puna man has been charged with robbery in connection with a confrontation Sept. 20 in Pāhoa.

A 19-year-old Pāhoa man reported that he had been waiting for a ride at the southern intersection of Highway 130 and Pāhoa Village Road when a car with two male occupants approached him. One of the occupants assaulted the victim and took his skateboard and beanie cap.

Investigation led to the identity of the suspects as a 16-year-old boy and 22-year-old Gary A. Simpkins of Pāhoa.

Simpkins turned himself in to police Monday afternoon, Sept. 26, and was held at the Hilo police cellblock while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continued the investigation.


At noon Tuesday, Sept. 27, detectives charged him with second-degree robbery. His bail was set at $5,000. He remains in the cellblock pending his initial court appearance scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 28.

The investigation against the juvenile will be sent to the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney for a charging decision.


HPD Searching for Puna Robbery Suspects


Police are seeking suspects in a reported robbery that occurred early Tuesday, Sept. 20, in the Pāhoa area.

At about 2:23 a.m., police received a report from a 19-year-old Pāhoa man who reported that shortly after 1 am, while he was walking near the intersection of Route 130 and the Pāhoa Village Road, a white four-door sedan stopped nearby and two male individuals exited the vehicle and approached him.

The victim reported that he was assaulted by one of the male suspects, who forcibly removed a skateboard from him before fleeing in the white sedan.

The victim sustained minor injuries and declined medical treatment.


Police are looking for 22-year-old Gary A. Simpkins, who is described as African-American, about 5-foot-6, weighing about 180 pounds, short black hair and brown eyes. He also has a mustache and goatee as well as “Simpkins” tattooed on his upper back and numerous tattoos of both arms. He was last seen wearing a T-shirt and shorts.

The second suspect is described as a local male, about 5-foot-8, weighing about 180 pounds, black curly hair, and last seen wearing a T-shirt and shorts.

Detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigation Section are continuing the investigation, which is classified as a second degree robbery.

Police ask anyone with any information on the whereabouts of Simpkins, may have witnessed the incident, or who may know the identity of the second suspect to contact Detective Sandor Finkey at 961-2384 or

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island-wide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

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