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Officer Recognized for Tracking Down Suspects Assaulting Hikers in Keaʻau

October 26, 2021, 6:29 AM HST
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Hawaii police officer was recognized for his work in tracking down suspects who reportedly assaulted hikers in Keaʻau.

Puna Community Policing Officer Eddie Cardines was presented the Officer of the Month award for July by the Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawai‘i during a ceremony at the Pāhoa Police Station on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021.

Pictured is Community Policing Officer Eddie Cardines and James Sanborn of Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawai‘i. (PC: Hawaiʻi Police Department)

Cardine was recognized specifically for his investigative work in tracking down robberies and assaults that took place on the Shipman Trailhead. The first incident occurred on June 20 when police say a suspect jumped out of the brush on the Shipman Trailhead and used a bat/pipe to strike the victim and steal their belongings.

Three weeks later on July 14, a robbery occurred on the Shipman Trailhead where the suspect jumped out of the brush and pepper-sprayed the victim, stole their bags, which contained their vehicle keys, ran to the parking lot, and stole their vehicle.

The crimes took place on property owned by multiple entities, including Hawaiian Paradise Park subdivision, W.H. Shipman Ltd., and the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR).

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“CPO Cardines organized a joint agency HPD-DLNR reconnaissance mission of the trail areas and learned that the robbery suspects were possibly camping along the coast,” police stated. “He also conducted a meeting with community members from HPP and W.H. Shipman Ltd., updating them on the investigation and discussing how the community and police could work together to reduce crime in the area.”

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On July 22, Cardines and the task force he created hit the trails in the early morning darkness to locate the suspects. During their search, they discovered a campsite where they found a male and female who were both placed under arrest for various criminal offenses.

Later that morning the male robbery suspect was located and placed under arrest.

After conferring with the Hawai’i County Prosecutors Office, detectives charged one of the male suspects with two counts of first-degree robbery (during emergency proclamation), three counts of third-degree assault, second-degree theft, third-degree theft, two counts of unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle (UCPV), and unauthorized possession of personal confidential information. His bail was set at $30,000.

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The other male suspect was charged with UCPV and as a habitual property crime offender. His bail was set at $20,000.

“CPO Cardines used his problem-solving skills and brought law enforcement and community members to the table to address their concerns,” officials stated. “The task force accomplished its mission by arresting criminals that were plaguing lower Puna and other parts of Hawai‘i Island.”

Officials say Cardines exemplifies the community policing mission statement which states, “the police will form partnerships with the community in order to create a safe and secure environment.”

Every month the Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawai‘i honors a police officer in East Hawaii as their officer of the month. Officers are nominated by their supervisors from the various police districts and a monthly winner is selected.

All officers selected for Officer of the Month are eligible to be selected as the Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawai‘i Officer of the Year.

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