From Hawaii Police Department:
A 22-year-old man faces enhanced penalties for allegedly committing crimes during an emergency declaration.
At 6:50 a.m. Wednesday (November 12), police responded to a report of a burglary in progress in the Hawaiian Paradise Park subdivision in Puna.
A 60-year-old woman reported that she saw a woman on her property on 3rd Avenue off Kaloli Street and then saw a man attempting to steal her pickup truck. When she confronted them, they fled on foot before officers arrived. Police determined that the man had attempted to break into the house before being confronted by the victim.
A short time later, police located the man on 1st Avenue and the woman on 2nd Avenue. They were identified as 22-year-old Sebastian Hernandez of Kea’au and 25-year-old Olivia Medeiros of Mountain View. Both were arrested and taken to the Hilo police cellblock while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continued the investigation.
Wednesday afternoon, Medeiros was released pending further investigation. Hernandez was charged with unauthorized entry of a motor vehicle and attempted burglary of a dwelling during an emergency declaration, which enhances the attempted burglary from a B felony to an A felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison with no possibility of probation. He was also charged with contempt of court for an unrelated matter. His bail was set at $12,300. He remained at the cellblock until his initial court appearance on Thursday (November 13).
On September 4, Mayor Billy Kenoi proclaimed a state of emergency for the Puna District under Act 111 of the 2014 Hawai‘i State Legislature. As a result, the classifications of certain crimes are elevated while the emergency proclamation is in effect. Other crimes, including unauthorized entry of a motor vehicle, carry enhanced sentencing.