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Puna Man Charged With Arson

Hawaiʻi Island police have charged a 26-year-old Puna man who was arrested Monday (April 29) in connection with a suspicious fire on Friday (April 26).

Justin James Clark

Justin James Clark

Justin James Clark of Kurtistown is charged with first-degree arson.

At 10:48 a.m. Friday, patrol officers and Fire Department personnel responded to a structure fire at Alulu Road and Oʻoaʻa Road in Hawaiian Acres. The fire was extinguished, but not before causing extensive damage to the structure. A Fire Department investigator determined that the fire was suspicious.

Police learned that a sports-utility vehicle had been seen speeding away from the scene shortly before witnesses heard popping sounds and saw the house in flames. Detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continued the investigation and developed a suspect based on descriptions of the SUV and its occupant.

Clark was arrested Monday at 1:30 p.m. and held at the Hilo police cellblock on suspicion of arson while detectives continued the investigation with the assistance of a fire inspector and a dog from the Hawaiʻi Fire Department’s Arson Canine Team.

Detectives executed a search warrant on the SUV. The Fire Department’s canine was instrumental in helping detectives recover a flammable substance during the search.

At 10 a.m. Tuesday (April 30), detectives charged Clark with first-degree arson. His bail was set at $50,000. He remains at the cellblock pending his initial court appearance scheduled for Wednesday (May 1).

Big Island Police Arrest Puna Man in Connection With Arson in Hawaiian Acres

Hawaiʻi Island police have arrested a Puna man in connection with a suspicious fire Friday (April 26).

HPDBadge
At 10:48 a.m. Friday, patrol officers and Fire Department personnel responded to a structure fire at Alulu Road and Oʻoaʻa Road in Hawaiian Acres. The fire was extinguished, but not before causing extensive damage to the structure. A Fire Department investigator determined that the fire was suspicious.

Investigation by detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section led to the arrest Monday at 1:30 p.m. of 26-year-old Justin James Clark of Kurtistown. He is being held at the Hilo police cellblock on suspicion of arson while detectives continue the investigation with the assistance of a fire inspector.

Police ask that anyone with information about this case call Detective Wendall Carter at 961-2378 or email him at wcarter@hawaiicounty.gov. Witnesses may also call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

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.