Burglary Busts 06/17/99

PHONE: 961-2314
JUNE 17, 1999


After a year-long investigation, Big Island police have busted a burglary ring responsible for at least 41 burglaries and 17 thefts.

The investigation, led by Hilo Patrol Officer Elson Cabatu, has resulted in seven people arrested, being held or being sought for the burglaries and thefts, which occurred from the beginning of 1998 through January 1999 between the Puna and South Kohala Districts. Most of the burglaries and thefts were committed in Hilo. All but one were committed at state or county facilities or private business establishments.

The burglary and theft cases have resulted in one arrest. Three suspects were questioned and released pending further investigation, two are being sought and one is currently in custody for these crimes.

Two of the suspects are female juveniles.

The cases have been turned over to the County Prosecutor’s Office for Grand Jury proceedings.

Among the items stolen in the cases were three cars, which have been recovered and returned to the victims. Police have recovered other stolen items and return them to their owners.

The burglary ring has been implicated in a fencing operation that traded crystal methamphetamine, or “ice,” cocaine and marijuana for the stolen property.

As a result of the investigation of the burglaries and thefts, police on June 3, 1999, raided four residences and arrested 13 people for a variety of drug charges.

In addition, 42 other cases into promoting dangerous drugs and receiving stolen property were initiated.

The arrests on June 3 were made in the Ainaloa and Paradise Park subdivisions of Puna and Kaiwiki area of Hilo. The residences were allegedly used in the fencing operation.

Acting on search warrants, the officers seized crystal methamphetamine, crack cocaine, dried marijuana, growing marijuana plants, prescription pills and drug paraphernalia.

They also served 14 bench warrants on the suspects arrested.

The suspects were released pending further investigation.

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