Hilo man charged with stealing a car, trying to steal a truck, terroristic threatening and more

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Thirty-two-year-old Aina Kealoha Bill Cachero of Hilo. Photo Courtesy: Hawai‘i Police Department

Aina  Cachero, 32 of Hilo, already had a long criminal history before last Friday, when police say he tried to steal a truck and ended up being shot by an officer after brandishing a silver and black handgun while attempting to run away.

And, with an outstanding warrant for successfully stealing a car on Jan. 25, Cachero was charged with a long list of new offenses.

Cachero was released from the Hilo Medical Center on Sunday and is in police custody.

Cachero was charged for a robbery, attempted theft of a Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck and terroristic threatening offenses that occurred on Feb. 3.

Cachero was also charged in relation to an outstanding warrant for an unrelated theft of a Nissan Altima, theft of a credit card and identity theft offenses that happened on Jan. 25.


At his initial appearance in Hilo District Court on Feb. 6, his bail was maintained at $134,000 for both cases and he was ordered to appear for his  preliminary hearings on Feb. 8, 2023. 

This is what happened on Feb. 3, according to court documents.

At his home on Kukuaa Street in Hilo, Vernon Podlewski, 46, started his pickup truck and went to his storage shed to get some items before going to work when he heard his truck engine revving. He told police he ran toward his vehicle, which was being backed out of the driveway. Podlewski jumped through the passenger window to get into the vehicle.

A physical altercation ensued, which made it difficult for Cachero to put the vehicle in drive. Podlewski said Cachero hit him multiple times with his elbow. While this was happening, the truck rolled into a neighbor’s driveway. Podlewski managed to get the truck’s gear selector into park, opened the driver’s side door and they both tumbled to the ground.

The men wrestled for about 15 seconds on the ground before getting to their feet in a fighting stance, Podlewski said, but Cachero swore at him and walked away. Podlewski ran to his residence and had a family member call police.


While this was happening, Podlewski saw Cachero walk back toward his truck. Podlewski said he went back outside and stood in front of his truck that was still in his neighborʻs driveway. Podlewski said the man looked like he was reaching to his front waist band. Podlewski said he thought the man might be going for a gun, but instead swore a few more times at him and left.

Based on the description Podlewski provided police, Cachero, who matched the description, was spotted in the area of 458 Mohouli Street. Cachero also was identified through prior police contacts.

Cachero ran. Two officers chased him a short distance. During this short run, police say: “He was observed to be reaching for an item from the front of his waist band and later brandished a black and silver handgun.”

Upon seeing Cachero brandish the handgun, both officers “felt extremely threatened” and both officers commanded him to drop his weapon, police said. Cachero did not. One officer discharged his department issued service pistol and struck Cachero. He was immediately provided first aid and transported to Hilo Medical Center.

Podlewski positively identified Cachero from a photo lineup. Podlewski suffered minor injuries, including pain and swelling to his upper lip, abrasions and cut skin to his left elbow and small cut on his right pinky.


In the court documents, police said that during an advice of rights interview, Cachero waived his constitutional rights and made a statement admitting he tried to steal the truck, fought with the truck owner, and ran from officers. He also admitted that while “running way he pulled, all the way out, from his front waistband a black and silver handgun while looking at officers,” police said.

Although police said the officers saw Cachero brandish a handgun, and Cachero admitted he had a handgun, Cachero will not face any firearms-related charges.

“The weapon he pulled from his waistband was later examined,” Hawai‘i police said Sunday. “While its appearance, size and weight were consistent with a semi-automatic handgun, the weapon Cachero used in this case was found to not be a functioning firearm.”

The exact nature of the weapon was not immediately clear.

In the Jan. 25 incident, police were dispatched to a report of stolen silver Nissan Altima at the Hale Haumana apartment complex in Hilo.

The vehicle contained a Chromebook computer, crystal jewelry and a bag that had her wallet.

Police work led to a Kawili 7-Eleven in which surveillance video showed Cachero driving the stolen vehicle.

A warrant was put out for his arrest.

The most serious offenses, robbery in the second degree and theft in the first degree,  are both class B felony offenses and punishable by a 10-year prison term or four years probation  and up to 18 months in jail.

Prosecutors have provided notice of an intention to seek an extended term of imprisonment arguing that Cachero is a persistent and/or multiple offender.

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