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Pāhoa Man Arrested in Connection to Theft at Charter School

July 28, 2021, 7:30 AM HST
* Updated July 29, 10:40 AM
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Jenson Faustino-Keakaoka Castillas

A 24-year-old man is facing a myriad of offenses after allegedly breaking into a charter school in Pāhoa.

Jenson Faustino-Keakaoka Castillas, of Pāhoa, was charged with burglary during an emergency period, second-degree burglary, first-degree theft, first-degree criminal property damage, first-degree criminal trespass, second-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, drug paraphernalia, ownership/possession prohibited (ammunition), and as a habitual property crime offender.

Charges stem from an incident on Saturday, July 24, shortly before 11 a.m., when Hawai‘i Police Department’s Puna patrol officers responded to a suspicious vehicle call at a church on Pāhoa Village Road in Pāhoa.

When officers arrived on scene, they discovered numerous battery-powered tools, a generator, spray paint cans, and other miscellaneous items within the car.

Around this same time, police dispatch received a report of a burglary at Hawai‘i Academy of Arts & Sciences in Pāhoa, where tools had been reported stolen.

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“Due to the close proximately of the vehicle at the church and the school, officers requested school faculty members respond to assist in identifying the items within the vehicle; the tools appeared to be stolen from the school,” HPD stated.

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The suspect, later identified as Castillas, was captured on video surveillance, which officers were able to view.

A short time later, officers saw a man walking on Pāhoa Village Road who matched the description of the suspect captured on video surveillance. Officers contacted this individual and confirmed his identity as Castillas.

“He spontaneously stated to officers that he was looking for his vehicle; a vehicle which matched the description of the vehicle at the church,” HPD stated.

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Castillas was arrested and transported to the Pāhoa Police Station. Approximately 11.8 grams of methamphetamine and 2.4 grams of marijuana were allegedly found on his person.

The vehicle was recovered and detectives with the Area I Criminal Investigation Section obtained a search warrant. Upon execution of the warrant, detectives confirmed the identity of the stolen items. They also recovered live ammunition, which Castillas is prohibited from possessing.

Castillas appeared in Hilo District Court on Tuesday, July 27, for an initial appearance where Judge Jeffrey Hawk maintained bail at $146,000. A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for July 29.

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