05-31-19 Officer of the Month of April: Officer Melvin Vargas

Hawaiʻi Police Department
Office of the Chief
Chief Paul K. Ferreira
Phone: (808) 961-2244



Media Release

Police Officer Melvin Vargas is being honored as the Aloha Exchange Club’s Officer of the Month of April for his outstanding performance and dedication in protecting the community.

On April 7, 2019, it was reported that a male suspect left a church property with stolen items. The description of the suspect was that he was wearing a dark colored shirt, brown pants, and operating a motorcycle with multiple stickers on the front.

Officer Vargas, responding to the area, observed a gray sport motorcycle with a cooler attached. He also observed a male party sitting next to the motorcycle matching the description of the suspect involved. The suspect was also and attempting to “pick” open a padlock. Officer Vargas made contact with the male party and observed that the motorcycle did not have a license plate and he could see that the “VIN”  plate was scraped off.

When the complainant was taken to the area of the traffic stop, and he positively identified the suspect who was found within the church taking the ice. The complainant also identified the motorcycle and the padlock that was taken from the ice maker.

The suspect was arrested, and Officer Vargas noted that he had a backpack on and that when it was removed from his body, a strong odor of marijuana was detected. The suspect also stated that he has needles in his backpack. Officer Vargas located a small packet in his right front pocket that had a black tar-like substance believed to be heroin.                                                                                                                   

The suspect was subsequently charged for breaking into the church and having drugs and drug paraphernalia on his person.

In another case on April 25, 2019, a victim reported that she misplaced her wallet with contents while at the Hilo Civic Auditorium for the Merrie Monarch event. When the victim realized that her wallet was missing she returned to try and locate it. She could not find it and called her banking institution to inform them of the missing wallet and to cancel her credit cards. She learned that one of the credit cards had been used.

Officer Vargas tracked down the suspect who was found in a maroon hatchback vehicle under the trees in the area of a park. The suspect was wearing the same clothing as described by the delivery driver. The suspect was also identified by the delivery driver as the one that signed for the pizza. Officer Vargas also found two empty boxes of pizza within the vehicle. The suspect was arrested for Theft, Fraud Use Credit Card, Forgery, and ID Theft.

Officer Vargas’s accomplishments are indicative of his dedication to duty, initiative, and commitment to the Department’s vision of making our community a safer place to live, visit and conduct business. The observations made by him on routine calls, by doing what he can to remove criminals and drugs from our streets, and making our community a safer place is an example of what he does each day. Officer Vargas’s attention to detail, investigative skills, and proactive approach to police work is commendable.




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