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Volcano Suspect Arrested in Connection With 19 Crimes

July 19, 2017, 3:34 PM HST
* Updated July 19, 3:37 PM
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Arnold “BJ” Fernandez. HPD photo.

Hawai‘i Island police arrested a 25-year-old Volcano man as they continue to address the deeply concerning increase in property crimes—mainly, stolen motor vehicles.

On Monday, July 17, acting on tips from the public, officers responded to the Orchidland area in Keaʻau to look for Arnold Bartolo Jose Fernandez, also known as “BJ” Fernandez, who was wanted for an outstanding warrant and reportedly driving a stolen Subaru. Police located the unattended Subaru at a business complex on Orchidland Drive.

As officers approached the vehicle, Fernandez ran from a nearby retail business, across the highway and into the Hawaiian Paradise Park Subdivision. At 9:30 p.m., after an extensive search of the area, Fernandez was found hiding on the property of an uninvolved HPP resident.

He was arrested without further incident and taken to the Hilo cellblock while a special task force within the Criminal Investigations Division continued the investigation.

During the investigation, police learned Fernandez may have been responsible for the following crimes, all occurring during July 2017 in the Puna District:

  1. July 3, Discharging a firearm on a road
  2. July 3, Threatening with the use of a firearm
  3. July 3, Possession of a firearm while previous felony cases are pending against him
  4. July 3, Possessing a firearm on a roadway that was not in an enclosed container
  5. July 3, Driving a stolen Toyota truck
  6. July 3, Driving without a license
  7. July 5, Driving a stolen Toyota truck
  8. July 5, Driving without a license
  9. July 6, Stealing items after breaking into a residence
  10. July 16, Stealing items after breaking into a residence
  11. July 16 , Possession of a stolen credit card
  12. July 16, Possession of confidential personal information
  13. July 17, Stealing items after breaking into a residence
  14. July 17, Stealing items after breaking into a different residence
  15. July 17, Driving a stolen Subaru
  16. July 17, Driving without a license
  17. July 17, Possession of marijuana
  18. July 17, Possession of ammunition that was not in an enclosed container
  19. July 17, Possession of ammunition while previous felony cases are pending against him
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On Wednesday, July 19, police charged Fernandez with four counts of first-degree burglary, three counts of unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, three counts of driving without a license, two counts of ownership prohibited (of a firearm) and one count each of third-degree promoting a detrimental drug, unauthorized possession of confidential personal information, theft of a credit card, place to keep ammunition, place to keep pistol, second-degree reckless endangering, first-degree terroristic threatening and having a firearm on a highway.

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His bail is set at $249,000.

Fernandez is being held at the Hawaiʻi Community Correctional Center pending his initial court appearance scheduled for Thursday, July 20, in District Court.

Investigators are continuing to examine these cases to determine if additional suspects are involved. The task force will continue to focus their attention on those responsible for these types of crimes.

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HPD thanks the community for their continued support by providing information regarding crimes such as these as well as locations of these criminals.

Anyone with information about these incidents or any stolen vehicles are asked to call the police department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3111 or Sgt. James Correa of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at (808) 961-2272 or [email protected].

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at (808) 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 does not record calls or subscribe to any caller ID service. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

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