Officer Honored for Quickly Solving South Kohala Burglary Investigation
By combining his keen communication and investigative skills with knowledge of crime trends in the community he serves, a South Kohala officer was able to quickly solve a Waikōloa burglary resulting in the arrest of two people.
As a result of his efforts, Officer Colin Pacheco was recognized by the Hawai‘i Island Security and Safety Professionals Association (HISSPA) as the HISSPA Officer of the Quarter for Q2 2022 on Friday, Aug. 12.
Responding to a reported burglary at a Waikōloa residence on Wednesday, June 22, Pacheco narrowed down the timeframe in which the crime occurred and made key observations that would later prove crucial to successfully resolving the case.
Pacheco identified the burglary as a crime of opportunity due to the suspected entry point being an unsecured window. After ascertaining that jewelry was removed from the residence, the officer was able to extract detailed descriptions of some of the items stolen from the victim in hopes of future identification. Examining the crime scene, he found it odd that food was consumed and the wrappers discarded outside of the home. He also noted there were several varieties of fruit scattered around the exterior of the house that came from trees in a neighboring yard.
The next day, Pacheco overheard a call being dispatched in which it was reported that a male and a female were sleeping in front of a business establishment in the Waikōloa Village area. Based on his 15-plus years of experience, Pacheco knew that a call like this was uncommon for the area, as were burglaries. He advised the responding officers of his burglary investigation and informed them of the items stolen from the residence.
Upon arriving at the scene of the couple sleeping in front of the business, one of the officers noted fruit in an open cooler consistent with what Pacheco had seen scattered around the burglary scene. The responding officers also saw a ring near the sleeping couple that matched the detailed description Pacheco had obtained from the burglary victim. Pacheco responded to the scene of the incident to investigate further and contacted the victim to have her meet him there.
After Pacheco and the victim arrived on scene, it was determined that the female suspect was wearing numerous jewelry items belonging to the victim, resulting in the couple being apprehended and subsequently arrested.
Thanks to Pacheco’s detailed account of the incident, his follow-up with the victim, his insight to communicate information to other officers, and a thorough investigation completed by the Area II Criminal Investigation Division’s Detectives, the couple were both charged for theft offenses. The male suspect was charged with first-degree burglary and third-degree theft. The female suspect was charged with habitual property crime (three previous convictions for property crime offenses within 10 years) and as an accomplice to first-degree burglary.
Throughout the course of this investigation, Pacheco embodied all the aspects of the department’s core values, including integrity, professionalism, team work, compassion, and his endeavor to obtain community satisfaction, the police department stated in a news release.