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Big Island Police Investigating Puna Robbery of California Visitors at Hot Ponds

Police are investigating a robbery that occurred late Sunday night (April 29) in the Puna District.

At about 12:36 a.m. Monday, police received a report from a 30-year-old female visitor from California. She reported that last night at about 11:30 p.m., she and a 26-year-old male companion, also from California, were parked in a rented silver Jeep Patriot in the area of the Ahalanui Park in lower Puna. They were awakened by a rock shattering a window of the Jeep. The rock struck the 26-year-old passenger, who declined treatment for minor injuries.

The victims were apparently blinded by a bright light used by one suspect and it appeared that at least one more suspect was present during the incident. One of the suspects reached into the vehicle and removed an undisclosed item. One of the suspects demanded money and made mention of a firearm. Neither victim saw a weapon.

The victims drove away from the area and reported the incident to police upon reaching a parking lot in the South Hilo district.

The incident is classified as a second-degree robbery, first-degree unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle, and first-degree criminal property damage.

Police ask that anyone who may have witnessed the incident call Detective Wendell Carter at 961-2378 or email him at wcarter@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona 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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