At 7:17 p.m. Wednesday (March 30), South Hilo Patrol officers responded to a report of a tractor and trailer that struck two other vehicles and a house on Pilipaʻa Street in Hilo.
Responding officers observed several individuals restraining the alleged driver of the tractor and trailer as he was seen walking away from the scene. Police learned that the tractor, trailer and its contents were stolen from a business on Makaʻala Street and were observed driving through a closed gate.
Police learned from witnesses that the stolen tractor and trailer also struck a vehicle and ran another vehicle off the road on Pilipaʻa Street before striking and severing a utility pole. The tractor and trailer continued southbound on Pilipaʻa Street and then ran off the street and struck a house.
Neither of the drivers of the vehicles nor the three occupants of the house was injured.
Pilipaʻa Street between Puainako Avenue and Kahaopea Street was closed to traffic overnight due to the downed power lines. Utility crews from HELCO made temporary repairs and Pilipaʻa Street was opened to traffic Thursday morning (March 31).
The suspect, 30-year-old Solomon Aloha Kepano of Hilo was arrested on suspicion of first-degree theft, fourth-degree theft, third-degree criminal property damage, accident involving damage to a vehicle or property and two counts of first-degree reckless endangering. He remains in custody at the Hilo police cellblock while detective from the Area I Criminal Investigation Section continue the investigation
Detectives ask anyone who may have witnessed a white Freightliner and a white container trailer traveling through the industrial areas onto Kanoelehua Avenue, Puainako Avenue or Pilipaʻa Street in Hilo to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Dean Uyetake at 961-2379 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers does not record calls of subscribe to caller ID and the information is kept confidential.