One Man Charged in Connection to Break-ins at Prince Kuhio Plaza
A Kea‘au man was charged with burglary and theft in connection to two separate break-ins at Prince Kuhio Plaza in Hilo.
Hayden Bruce, 18, was arrested on March 19 along with five juveniles and two other adults. Up to this point, Bruce is the only one charged for the crimes.
Bruce was charged with second-degree Burglary, Burglary of a building during an emergency period, and third-degree Theft. The 18-year-old remains in police custody in lieu of $7,500 bail. His initial court appearance is scheduled for March 23 in Hilo District Court.
The reported break-ins occurred Thursday afternoon. According to Hawai‘i Police Department, officers responded to a report of a burglary in progress shortly before 3 p.m. within a department store located within the Prince Kuhio Plaza.
“It was reported that a male suspect had forcibly broken a plate glass window to the establishment and entered the store, which was closed for business,” police stated in a press release.
When the suspect entered the store, the male was confronted by store employees. The suspect then exited the building and fled the area on foot. The retail establishment was currently closed due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.
While officers were responding to the active burglary complaint, police dispatch received a report from another department store at the Prince Kuhio Plaza, where three males reportedly stole clothing items and left the area on foot.
Police were contacted by a witness in the area that was able to provide a description of the responsible individuals, the vehicle they were operating, as well as the direction of travel. A short time later, officers located the vehicle.
The vehicle was located traveling south on Kanoelehua Avenue near Ikaika Street. A traffic stop was conducted, and the eight occupants were arrested and transported to the Hilo Police Station. Along with Bruce, two additional adults identified as 21-year-old Troy Kuhns-Lono of Volcano, and 20-year-old Shon Sare of Kea‘au, as well as five juveniles were arrested.
The vehicle was recovered as evidence and towed to the Hilo Police Station, pending approval and execution of a search warrant to recover the stolen merchandise.
The five juveniles were processed, and four of them were released to the custody of their guardian(s). The 5th juvenile was arrested on an outstanding juvenile arrest warrant and transferred to the custody of juvenile probation.
During the course of this investigation, Bruce and two of the juveniles were identified as being responsible for the theft at Sears. Upon conferring with prosecutors, Kuhns-Lono and Sare, as well as the, juveniles were released pending investigation. That case will be referred to the prosecutor’s office for their review.
Police remind the public that that certain crimes, such as burglary, theft and robbery, could have enhanced penalties in light of the current COVID-19 emergency Proclamation.