East Hawaii News

Police: Pāhoa man charged following reported Hilo bank robbery

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A Puna man is being charged in connection with a reported bank robbery earlier this week in the 500 block of Kīlauea Avenue in Hilo.

John Jason McCrary

Big Island police arrested 52-year-old John Jason McCrary of Pāhoa following the Dec. 6 incident. After conferring with the Hawai‘i County prosecutor’s office, detectives with the Hawai‘i Police Department’s Area I Criminal Investigation Section on Friday charged McCrary with:

  • First-degree robbery.
  • First-degree theft (during an emergency period).
  • Second-degree terroristic threatening.
  • Place to keep ammunition.
  • Second-degree promotion of a dangerous drug.
  • Third-degree promotion of a detrimental drug.

McCrary’s bail was set at $103,000. He remains in police custody pending his initial court appearance scheduled for the afternoon of Dec. 12 in Hilo District Court.

The charges stem from an incident the morning of Dec. 6, when officers with Hilo Patrol responded to the reported bank robbery. Bank employees reported that a male suspect entered the bank and produced a threatening note demanding money. He then fled the area on foot with an undisclosed amount. No one in the bank was injured.


Officers canvassed the surrounding Downtown Hilo area looking for the suspect; however, he was not immediately located.

On the morning of Dec. 8, a Hilo Patrol officer patrolling his beat saw a male party he thought was McCrary exiting a big-box retail store on Maka‘ala Street in Hilo and walk toward a vehicle in the parking lot. Officers contacted the man, who was seated inside the vehicle, and positively identified him as McCrary, who was subsequently arrested.

The vehicle was recovered as evidence and secured pending execution of a search warrant. McCrary also had two larger-type wallets on his person at the time of his arrest, which also required a search warrant.


He was taken to the Hilo cellblock while Area I Criminal Investigation Section personnel continued to investigate.

Search warrants were later executed on the vehicle and McCrary’s property. Detectives recovered a large amount of money, 14.4 grams of methamphetamine, 28 grams of processed marijuana and ammunition.

Anyone who might have information regarding this incident or who might have had contact with McCrary following the robbery is asked to contact Detective Paul Mangus with the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at 808-961-2383 or via email at [email protected].


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