Hawai‘i Island police have arrested and charged a Hilo man following multiple auto thefts and an array of other offenses.
On Friday evening, March 3, 2023, after conferring with Hawai’i County prosecutors, the Area I Special Enforcement Unit charged 41-year-old Wayne Robert Emch with:
- two counts of unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle (UCPV)
- two counts of first-degree theft
- felony resist order to stop a motor vehicle
- third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug
- a warrant for violation of conditions of release on bail
His total bail was set at $92,000.
The charges against Emch stem from several different vehicle theft cases in east and west Hawai’i. The first case was reported on Friday, February 10, 2023, when a white Toyota Tacoma pick-up truck was reported stolen from a driveway on Lihikai Street, in the Keaukaha area of Hilo. On Tuesday, February 14, 2023, shortly after midnight, South Hilo patrol officers received a report that the vehicle was on Banyan Drive in Hilo. As officers arrived in the gravel parking lot area of the golf course, the vehicle immediately began leaving the area. A brief vehicle pursuit ensued, however it was quickly terminated due to safety concerns. Officers positively identified Emch as the operator of the vehicle.
On Tuesday, February 28, South Hilo patrol officers responded to 200 West Kawili Street for a report of a gold Toyota Tacoma pick-up struck stolen from a parking lot. Emch was identified as a suspect in that theft. On Thursday, March 2, 2023, shortly after 1:00 a.m., Special Enforcement Unit officers observed Emch operating the Tacoma on Kaumana Drive in Hilo. He quickly drove off evading police at that time.
Later that evening, shortly before 7:00 p.m. om Thursday, Special Enforcement Unit personnel observed the gold Tacoma in the area of Maka‘aka Street in Hilo. The vehicle was observed traveling towards Banyan Drive; shortly afterwards officers located the vehicle in a hotel parking lot with Emch seated in the driver seat and 19-year-old Shayla-Rae Pomroy in the passenger seat. Emch and Pomroy were arrested without incident, and the Tacoma was recovered.
During the course of these investigations, Emch was also identified as a suspect in an additional theft of a Toyota Tacoma from Walua Road in Kona on Monday, February 20, as well as the attempted theft of an ATM from the Parker Ranch Shopping Center in Waimea on Monday, February 27. Those cases remaining continuing by the Area II Criminal Investigation Section in Kona.
Emch remained in police custody pending his initial court appearance on Monday afternoon, March 6. Pomroy was released pending further investigation.
Police ask anyone with information related to these or other investigations involving Emch to contact the Hawai’i Police Department’s non-emergency number at (808) 935-3311.