Police: Report suspicious activities

Police are asking the public to be alert to any suspicious activities, particularly in the Puna district, which is under an emergency declaration because of an active lava flow. Area residents are advised to call 911 to report any suspicious persons or vehicles.

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Police are asking the public to be alert to any suspicious activities, particularly in the Puna district, which is under an emergency declaration because of an active lava flow. Area residents are advised to call 911 to report any suspicious persons or vehicles.

The public is reminded that the classifications of certain crimes are elevated while the emergency declaration is in effect.

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For example, burglary of a dwelling during an emergency declaration enhances the crime of burglary from a B felony to an A felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison with no possibility of probation. Additionally, petty misdemeanor criminal property damage, usually punishable by up to 30 days in jail or a fine of up to $1,000, is elevated to a Class B felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. Other offenses, including theft, robbery and any assault against an emergency worker also face elevated penalties.

On Sept. 4, Mayor Billy Kenoi proclaimed a state of emergency for the Puna district under Act 111 of the 2014 Hawaii state Legislature.

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