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Police Arrest and Charge Hilo Man with Vehicle Theft and Other Offenses

by Thunda

Hawai‘i Island police arrested and charged 26-year-old Tyron Keoki Willett, of Hilo, with an array of offenses, including defacing serial numbers on motor vehicles, unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle (auto theft), and theft, stemming from an incident that occurred Saturday morning, September 23, 2023, in Pāhoa.

Puna patrol officers responded to an 8:17 a.m. report of a suspicious vehicle parked fronting a residence in the 15-2700 block of Aholehole Street in the Hawaiian Beaches subdivision in Pāhoa.

Arriving on scene, officers observed an unoccupied black Nissan 350Z two-door coupe. Upon conducting a check of the license plate on the Nissan, they discovered it was registered to a white Honda four-door sedan. Officers also observed that the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on the vehicle’s dashboard was missing.

Officers contacted Willet at the residence where he was observed sleeping in the garage, and he was subsequently arrested for two outstanding bench warrants and for defacing serial numbers on motor vehicles. Willett was transported to Hawai‘i Police Department’s East Hawai‘i Detention Center where he was held as police continued their investigation.

The stolen vehicle was recovered and transported to the Hilo police station, pending the execution of a search warrant.

Upon execution of a search warrant, detectives discovered that numerous VINs throughout the vehicle were either damaged or removed. During the course of investigation, detectives determined the vehicle was stolen from a business in Kailua-Kona on June 2, 2023.

After conferring with the County Prosecutor’s Office on Sunday, September 24, detectives with the Area I Criminal Investigation Section charged Willett with the following offenses:

  • Unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle (UCPV)
  • First-degree theft
  • Defacing serial numbers on motor vehicles

His total bail was set at $35,000.

Willett was held at HPD’s East Hawai’i Detention Center until his initial court appearance on Monday, September 25, in Hilo District Court.

Police ask that people with information regarding this crime to please contact Detective Kimo Keliipaakaua at (808) 961-2375 or at Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

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