Man accused of stealing Toyota rims

  • JUSTIN Y. YAMAUCHI

A 23-year-old Hilo man faces six felony theft charges for allegedly stealing tires and custom rims from Toyota pickups and SUVs last month in Hilo — including two incidents at a car dealership lot — according to court documents filed by police.

During Justin Y. Yamauchi’s initial court appearance Tuesday, Deputy Public Defender Jiro Yuda asked Hilo District Judge Harry Freitas to reduce Yamauchi’s $60,000 bail, a request objected to by Deputy Prosecutor Glenn Shiigi.

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“Defendant is currently on four years felony probation for … promoting a dangerous drug in the third-degree,” Shiigi told the judge. Court documents indicate Yamauchi has four prior felony convictions.

Freitas maintained bail for Yamauchi, who’s charged with six counts of second-degree theft and ordered him to return to court at 2 p.m. today.

According to documents, Yamauchi admitted to all six thefts, which occurred between Dec. 12 and 29.

Two of the incidents involved the theft of tires and rims from brand-new 2018 Toyota Tacoma pickups at the Big Island Toyota dealership lot on Kanoelehua Avenue.

The four other incidents included tires and rims boosted from a 2007 Tacoma at Wailoa Small Boat Harbor, a 2016 Tacoma parked on Piilani Street, a 2018 4-Runner in the parking lot of a medical complex on Ponahawai Street and a 2008 4-Runner in the parking lot of Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium.

The estimated value of the tires and rims allegedly taken by Yamaguchi during the holiday theft spree is almost $22,800.

Photos of at least one of the vehicles propped up on blocks after its wheels were swiped was posted on social media, with responses expressing mostly outrage at the act.

Second-degree theft is a Class C felony punishable by up to five years imprisonment upon conviction.

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Yamaguchi remains in custody in Hawaii Community Correctional Center.

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune-herald.com.