Suspect in car chase charged with variety of crimes 08-23-02

PHONE: 961-2251
AUGUST 23, 2002


Hilo Criminal Investigation Section detectives charged an 18-year-old Hilo male early Friday (August 23, 2002) with a variety of felony crimes resulting from a car chase involving patrol officers in South Kohala, Kona and South Hilo.

At 12:20 a.m., Joey K. Caseres, of a Popolo Street address, was charged with two counts of kidnapping, three counts of unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle (car theft), one count of attempted unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, one count of unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle and five counts of criminal property damage.

Caseres was being held Friday morning in the Hilo police cellblock on $17,100 bail until his initial arraignment in court later in the day.

His alleged accomplice, a juvenile, was released to the custody of the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility on Oahu.

The two were arrested Wednesday after carjacking a red Kia compact car at the Mauna Kea State Park and driving toward Hilo on the Saddle Road.

The suspects had forced two German tourists, a man, 23, and a woman, 27, to drive them to Hilo. While on the Saddle Road, a police helicopter diverted from a marijuana eradication mission spotted the car heading toward Hilo and radioed ahead. The car was stopped as it entered the Hilo area in the vicinity of Kaumana City.

The incident started on Saturday (August 17, 2002) when the two suspects allegedly stole a blue 1991 Honda sedan parked at the Hale Nani Correctional Center in Hilo.

The following Wednesday, they drove the stolen car to South Kohala, where they crashed through several gates at the Mauna Lani Resort in an attempt to steal another vehicle there. Security guards called the police about the vehicle, and South Kohala police spotted the vehicle in the Kawaihae area and pursued the vehicle on Queen Kaahumanu Highway toward Kailua-Kona.

Kona patrol officers picked up the pursuit when the stolen car entered the Kona Patrol District. After reaching the outskirts of Kailua-Kona, the two suspects turned mauka on Ka’iminani Drive up to the Hawaii Belt Road, where they headed back toward South Kohala. Because of the danger of pursuing a vehicle on the winding highway, Kona police gave up the chase on the Hawaii Belt Road.

The suspects then turned up the Saddle Road, which runs between Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea, until they reached Mauna Kea State Park. There, they attempted to steal another car, but failed. Then they commandeered the Kia compact car, forcing the tourist couple to drive them to Hilo.

No one was injured in the long chase through three police districts.

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