Home invasion robbery update No. 4 04-08-08

Hawaii Police Department
Criminal Investigations Section
Detective Richard Sherlock
Phone: 961-2252
April 8, 2008
Report No. C07035918

(Select photo for larger image.)
Darren Joao mug shot
Darren Joao Wendy Joao

Media Release (update)

Hawaii County Police have arrested two men wanted in connection with the investigation of a home invasion robbery in Hawaiian Acres on November 24.

Sven D. Cruz, 24, of Kurtistown turned himself in to Hilo Police on April 3, the day after the Police Department issued a media release describing him as a person of interest. He was released without charges on that same day pending further investigation.

The next day, Puna patrol officers apprehended 22-year-old Darren Joao at a home in the Fern Forest Subdivision. Police had actively been searching for Joao as a suspect in the home invasion robbery since November.

In addition to arresting Joao for the home invasion, police arrested and charged him for two felony counts of theft in relation to two stolen vehicles located on the Fern Forest property at the time of the arrest. He was also arrested on an outstanding bench warrant and a no bail revocation of probation warrant issued by the Circuit Court. His bail was set at $100,000.

Joao has not been charged with the home invasion robbery pending further investigation.

Joao’s mother, 40-year-old Wendy Joao of Glenwood, was arrested at the Fern Forest home for hindering prosecution. She had already been arrested and charged on November 26 for another count of hindering prosecution in her attempt to deter detectives from apprehending her son.

Wendy Joao was charged on Saturday (April 5) with the latest hindering prosecution offense as well as for one felony count of theft for a stolen trailer and water tank located at the Fern Forest home at the time Darren Joao was arrested. Wendy Joao’s bail was set at $10,000.

Both mother and son are being held at Hawaii Community Correctional Center awaiting preliminary hearings in District Court.

In the home invasion, Joao is suspected as being one of several men who entered a Hawaiian Acres home. Two brandished firearms and one wore a mask. They reportedly demanded property and forced three men and a female minor into a vehicle belonging to one of the victims and drove them away. The girl was then removed from the car and sexually assaulted.

The girl was taken to Hilo Medical Center for treatment of her injuries. None of the other victims required immediate medical attention.

The suspects were last seen leaving in a truck and the stolen car, a white 2000 Chevrolet four-door sedan bearing Hawaii veteran’s license plates F317.

The suspects were described as local males in their 20s or 30s with tanned complexions.

The investigation is still continuing.

Police ask anyone with any further information about the case to call Detective Reed Mahuna at 961-2384 or the Police Department’s non-emergency number at 935-3311. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

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