Prosecuting Attorney Kelden Waltjen announced that a Hilo man, 40 year-old Keone Balai was arrested and charged in relation to a robbery involving a machete and the theft of a Honda Civic that occurred on October 26, 2023 outside of a Hawaiian Beaches residence. Police later located the Honda Civic, executed a search warrant, and recovered a Remington Improved Model 6 .22 caliber rifle with a shortened barrel and a glass pipe containing methamphetamine residue.
Balai, who remains in custody in lieu of $126,000.00 bail, is scheduled to make his initial appearance on Tuesday afternoon in Hilo District Court.
As the Complaint alleges, Balai was charged with nine counts including Theft in the First Degree (theft of a motor vehicle, a Honda Civic), Robbery in the Second Degree, Unauthorized Control of a Propelled Vehicle in the First Degree, Promoting a Dangerous Drug in the Third Degree (possess any amount of methamphetamine), Ownership or Possession of Firearm Prohibited (prohibited based on prior convictions for felony offenses and crimes of violence), Place to Keep Unloaded Firearms Other Than Pistols and Revolvers, Ownership Prohibited (possess and/or acquire a rifle with a barrel length less than sixteen inches), Habitual Property Crime, and Driving Without a License. Robbery in the Second Degree, Theft in the First Degree, and Ownership or Possession of a Firearm Prohibited are all class B felony offenses that carries a penalty of either a ten-year prison term or four years probation and up to eighteen months in jail.
The charges are merely allegations and the Defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The case was initiated by Officer Jayson Miyashiro, Puna Patrol. The vehicle was located by Officer Danton Zimmerman, South Hilo Patrol. The felony investigation was led by Detective Jeremy Kubojiri, Area I Criminal Investigation Section, Hawai‘i Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Patrick Muñoz.
The Office of the Prosecuting Attorney remains dedicated to the pursuit of justice with integrity and commitment. Anyone having information to assist local law enforcement should call Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300.