Report of Puna burglary leads to 2 arrests

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A District Court judge maintained bail for a man and woman facing property crime charges after they were found with suspected drugs, guns and a stolen vehicle in Puna.

Left to right: Michael Kamahele and Jessinie Akui

Charges against Michael Kamahele, 31, of Hilo, and Jessinie Akui, 27, of Volcano, stem from a report of a burglary in the Hawaiian Paradise Park subdivision in Kea‘au on Thursday evening.

Around 7:36 p.m., police responded to a reported burglary at a residence in the 15-2000 block of 3rd Avenue. The 79-year-old homeowner reported that his white 2007 Ford van was stolen along with numerous items from within his residence, including two shotguns.

As officers conducted neighborhood checks, they learned that a nearby neighbor reported seeing a white convertible Ford Mustang with a black top parked in the victim’s garage during the alleged burglary.

Later that evening, around 11:56 p.m., an officer conducting area checks for the vehicles located the stolen Ford van and the Ford Mustang in the area of Orchidland Drive and 36th Avenue.


As the officer approached the vehicles from the rear, he observed a woman, later identified as Akui, standing in between the vehicles. As the officer gave loud verbal commands to stop, the 27-year-old ran and entered the driver’s side of the Ford Mustang, driving it 60 feet before coming to a stop.

The officer then saw a man, later identified as Kamahele, sitting in the driver’s seat of the stolen van.

As additional officers arrived on scene, they conducted an exterior check of the Ford Mustang and observed a clear, unknown type of bag containing a green, leafy substance, believed to be marijuana, on the vehicle floorboard between the front passenger seat and door. Akui was subsequently arrested for third-degree promoting a detrimental drug.

While Akui was being arrested, officers recovered a clear Ziploc-type baggie from her jacket pocket containing 2.5 grams of a white crystal-like substance that tested presumptive positive for methamphetamine.


Checking the exterior of the stolen van, officers observed in plain view a wooden buttstock and rusted barrel of an older-style firearm behind the driver’s seat, as well as a dark-colored soft rifle case. Kamahele was arrested for the theft of the van and possession of the firearms.

After executing a search warrant on the van, detectives recovered two functioning shotguns and a clear, glass pipe with a bulbous end containing a crystal-like substance that tested presumptive positive for methamphetamine.

After executing a search warrant on the Ford Mustang, detectives recovered a clear, unknown type of bag containing 8.16 grams of a green, leafy substance that tested presumptive positive for Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). They also recovered items from the burglarized residence, including live shotgun ammunition, the victim’s U.S. passport, vehicle registration, vehicle title, insurance for the van, as well as other miscellaneous items belonging to the victim.

Kamahele was charged with the following offenses:

  • First-degree theft (motor vehicle)
  • First-degree theft (theft from building)
  • Place to keep unloaded firearms, not pistols/revolvers
  • Third-degree promoting a dangerous drug (possession of dangerous narcotic: methamphetamine)
  • Ownership or possession prohibited
  • Habitual property crime

His bail was maintained at $45,000. Preliminary hearing scheduled for Wednesday

Akui was charged with the following:

  • Driving without a valid driver’s license
  • Third-degree promoting a dangerous drug (possession of dangerous narcotic: methamphetamine)
  • Third-degree promoting a detrimental drug (possession of marijuana)
  • Fourth-degree theft
  • Place to keep ammunition
  • Unauthorized possession of personal confidential information

Akui also remains in police custody on $12,200 bail.

The pair are scheduled to appear in Hilo District Court for a preliminary hearing on Wednesday.

Those with information regarding this crime may contact Detective Christopher Jelsma at or call 808-935-3311. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island-wide Crime Stoppers number at 808-961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

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