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HPD Anti-Theft Operation Nabs 5 Suspects

June 9, 2022, 7:01 PM HST
* Updated June 9, 7:24 PM
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Authorities arrested five people in Hilo after conducting an anti-theft operation targeting suspected shoplifters at a local department store.

The operation took place on Wednesday, June 8 and was executed by Hawai‘i Police Department’s officers assigned to the Hilo Community Policing Section. Police, working in partnership with store management, performed the undercover operation after repeated reports of shoplifting taking place at the store.

In one day of the operation, police prevented the theft of more than $1,600 worth of merchandise.

“One suspect, Britnay Timbresa, is believed to have committed thefts over a four- or five-month period, sometimes taking a wagon full of items valued at over $1,000 dollars”, said Officer Tyler Jelsma, who organized the operation.

Timbresa was charged with a felony based on the amount of items stolen.

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The following suspects appeared in Hilo District Court on Thursday, June 9.

  • Brittnay Timbresa, age 33, of Mountain View, charged with second-degree theft. Timbresa is scheduled to appear for an initial appearance on Monday, June 13.
  • Kaela Escalante, age 31 of Hilo, charged with third-degree theft. Release on her own recognizance and scheduled to appear for arraignment and plea on July 6.
  • Haylee Nishijima, age 21, of Hilo, charged with fourth-degree theft. Release on her own recognizance and scheduled to appear for arraignment and plea on July 6.
  • Bryson Sakai-Soto, age 27, no permanent address of Hilo, charged with third-degree theft and second-degree criminal trespass. Release on her own recognizance and scheduled to appear for arraignment and plea on June 22.
  • Branden Bellotto, age 47, no permanent address of Hilo, charged with fourth-degree theft. Release on her own recognizance and scheduled to appear for arraignment and plea on July 6.
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“Working together with business establishments helps prevent these kinds of thefts that would have otherwise went unnoticed and brings people involved in such incidents to justice,” Jelsma said.

Police will continue similar operations islandwide in an effort to deter thefts, during the holidays later this year.

The public is encouraged to call police to report criminal activity, by calling the police non-emergency number at 808-935-3311 or in the case of an emergency calling 911.

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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.

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