2-22-21 Puna Man Arrested and Charged for Home Invasion Robbery

Hawai‘i Police Department
Criminal Investigation Section – Area I
Lieutenant Rio S. Amon-Wilkins
Phone: (808) 961-2252
Report No.: 21-012087

Media Release 

Hawai‘i Island police have charged 18-year-old Kauka K.K.H. Santiago, of Pahoa, with robbery and other related offenses stemming from an incident that occurred Friday evening, February 12, 2021, in Leilani Estates in Puna.

During that incident a 74-year-old man reported that Santiago came to his front door and sprayed him in the face with mace. The victim then went to his bedroom to rinse the chemical from his face. Santiago is known to often dress as a woman and the victim knew Santiago as a female acquaintance.

Santiago then unlawfully entered the residence, threatened the victim and stole several valuable items. Fearing for his safety, the victim jumped out of a bedroom window and hid in the bushes until he believed the suspect was gone.

On Wednesday evening, February 17, 2021, Santiago was located in the area of Leilani Avenue and Hapu‘u Street in Leilani Estates. He was arrested on the strength of three outstanding warrants of arrest issued for revocation of supervised release, and one bench warrant for failure to appear stemming from a third-degree assault and fourth-degree promotion of a harmful drug investigation.

On Thursday afternoon, February 18, 2021, Santiago appeared in Hilo District Court. Although he was again granted supervised release on the warrants, he remains in police custody on the robbery charges. On Friday afternoon, February 19, 2021, after conferring with county prosecutors, detectives charged Santiago with first-degree robbery, first-degree theft, first-degree burglary during an emergency period, and third-degree assault. His bail was set at $77,000. His initial court appearance for offenses stemming from the Feb. 12 incident is scheduled for today, Monday, February 22, 2021, in Hilo District Court.

Police want to remind the public that in light of Governor David Ige’s current COVID-19 emergency proclamation, that there are enhanced penalties for certain offenses. These offenses include, but are not limited to, burglary, theft, criminal property damage, and robbery.              


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