10-19-23 Police Charge Puna Man for Auto Theft and Other Crimes

Hawai‘i Police Department
Area I Criminal Investigation Section
Lieutenant Zachary Fernando
Phone: (808) 961-2252
Report No.: 23-095533

Media Release

Hawai‘i Island police have arrested and charged 43-year-old Paul Pittman, of Mountain View, with an array of offenses including theft, auto theft, resisting an order to stop, and drug offenses.

A Hilo patrol officer conducting beat checks in the Wainaku area around 9:06 a.m. on Monday, October 16, 2023, observed a white Honda Civic four-door sedan occupied by a male operator and female front seat passenger parked off of Puueo Street. Upon conducting a check of the vehicle on his laptop computer, the officer learned that the vehicle had been reported stolen on Saturday, October 7, from a Kailua-Kona residence in the 73-1000 block of Kaiminani Drive.

The officer then turned around and approached the stolen vehicle with his blue lights and siren activated. The stolen vehicle then started up and fled the officer at a high-rate of speed and was last seen overtaking another motorist. Due to public safety risks, the officer did not further attempt to stop the stolen vehicle.

About 43 minutes later, Hilo patrol officers began responding to numerous reports of a white four-door sedan driving recklessly on Kino‘ole Street in Hilo that was last seen near a restaurant in the 1900 block of Kino‘ole Street.

Recognizing the vehicle description as the stolen vehicle the officer had tried to stop earlier in the morning, officers responding to the scene located the vehicle, which was parked in the restaurant parking lot, unoccupied.

Officers conducted a search of the immediate area and located a man matching the description of the man who fled from officers earlier in the morning at a convenience store in the 2000 block of Kilauea Avenue.

Upon being positively identified by the officer who attempted to stop the vehicle earlier on Puueo Street, Pittman was arrested for unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle and resisting and order to stop.

The stolen vehicle was recovered and towed to the South Hilo police station pending the execution of a search warrant. Upon executing a search warrant on the vehicle on Tuesday, October 17, detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigation Section recovered .2 grams of methamphetamine, a methamphetamine-smoking pipe, and a Washington State identification card of Paul Pittman.

After conferring with the County Prosecutors Office later that same day, Pittman was charged with the following offenses and his bail was set at $46,000:

•           Unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle (UCPV)

•           First-degree (vehicle) theft

•           Resist order to stop

•           Third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug

Police ask anyone who may have information regarding this incident to contact Detective Christopher Jelsma of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at (808) 961-2386, or via email at christopher.jelsma@hawaiicounty.gov, or the police department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311.

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