Police investigate arson at Hilo store 12-31-14

Hawaiʻi Police Department
Criminal Investigations Section, Area I
Lieutenant Gregory Esteban
Phone: 961-2252
Report No. C14035202

 

Media Release

Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating a suspicious fire Tuesday (December 30) at a store on Makaʻala Street in Hilo.

Responding to a 4:24 p.m. call from an employee at Walmart, Hawaiʻi Fire Department and police personnel learned that employees had extinguished a burning rack of clothing. The entire store was evacuated due to smoke. There were no injuries as a result of the fire.

The fire was confined to the rack of clothing. The estimated total damages are being assessed.

On Wednesday (December 31) detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section returned to the store and continued the investigation, which is classified as a first-degree arson and a third-degree attempted theft. They recovered and are examining video surveillance footage.

Police are seeking two persons who were seen in the store prior to the fire. One is described as possibly a local Caucasian man, about 5-foot-8 to 5-foot-10 with a heavy build and a light tan complexion. He was last seen wearing a red baseball cap, red shorts and a red shirt with a “Heart and Huntington” logo on the upper left chest area.

The second person is described as a Caucasian man similar in build to the first man but heavier. He was wearing a gray T-shirt, light-color shorts and a red baseball cap.

Anyone who knows the identity of either suspect or who was in the store from around 4:15 p.m. to the time the fire was started is asked to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-331 or contact Detective Wendall Carter at 961-2378  wcarter@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.


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  • Keep your community safe through Crime Stoppers

    Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island-wide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.00. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers does not record calls or subscribe to any Caller ID service. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

    The Crime Stoppers TV Program is available on-demand from Nā Leo TV.