Prosecuting Attorney Kelden Waltjen announced that 30 year-old Kyle Pu‘u-Gustafson of Kurtistown and 27 year-old Candiace Balles of Pahoa were arrested and charged in relation to the theft and unauthorized entry into a Ford van which was originally reported stolen on November 6, 2023 from the parking lot of the Outrigger Kona Resort and Spa.
Pu‘u-Gustafson, who was in custody in lieu of $35,000.00 bail, and Balles, who was in custody in lieu of $3,000.00 bail, each made their initial appearances on Monday afternoon in Hilo District Court. Both Pu‘u-Gustafson and Balles were granted supervised release by Hilo District Court Judge Jeffrey Hawk over Prosecutors’ objections and ordered to appear for preliminary hearings on December 4, 2023.
As the Complaint alleges, Pu‘u-Gustafson was charged with Theft in the First Degree and Unauthorized Control of a Propelled Vehicle in the First Degree. Theft in the First Degree is a class B felony offense punishable by either a ten-year prison term or four years probation and up to twelve months in jail.
As the Complaint alleges, Balles was charged with Unauthorized Entry Into Motor Vehicle in the Second Degree, Promoting a Dangerous Drug in the Third Degree (knowingly possess any dangerous drug, methamphetamine, in any amount), and Promoting a Detrimental Drug in the Third Degree. Promoting a Dangerous Drug in the Third Degree is a class C felony offense punishable by either a five-year prison term or four years probation and up to twelve months in jail. Unauthorized Entry Into Motor Vehicle in the Second Degree is a misdemeanor and punishable by a maximum penalty of a one-year jail term.
The charges are merely allegations and the Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The theft investigation was initiated by Officer Makena Naho‘oikaika, Kona Patrol. The felony investigation was handled by the Crime Reduction Unit, Area I Criminal Investigation Section, Hawai‘i Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Kevin Soong.
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.