Big Island Police Arrest Hilo Man in Connection With Theft of State Truck

Hawaiʻi Island police have charged a 37-year-old Hilo man with several offenses involving a vehicle that was stolen from a repair shop in Hilo in July.

Eddie Paaluhi Poai

Eddie Paaluhi Poai

On July 5 at about 7:06 a.m., police responded to a repair shop on Pohaku Street after employees discovered that a vehicle being repaired, a Ford pickup truck registered to the State of Hawaiʻi, was missing. Police recovered surveillance footage from the business.

On October 3 at about 4:50 p.m., the same truck was allegedly involved in a separate theft incident and was recovered by police. Detectives continued the investigation after discovering descriptors that led them to believe the truck was stolen.

Detectives worked with agents from the National Insurance Crime Bureau and were able to verify that the vehicle identification number plate and license plate were from another Ford truck. Detectives were then able to identify the truck as the one that had been stolen from the repair shop.

At 12:15 p.m. Wednesday (October 9), after conferring with prosecutors, detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section charged Eddie Paaluhi Poai with two counts of first-degree unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, fraudulent use of a license plate and altering a motor vehicle serial number. His bail was set at $22,000. He was scheduled to make his initial court appearance Thursday afternoon (October 10).

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