Pacheco-Fernandez in court on burglary, auto theft charges

  • TEARON PACHECO-FERNANDEZ

A 24-year-old Volcano woman police think was driving a reportedly stolen pickup truck shot at by police in a crowded supermarket parking lot the day before Thanksgiving made her initial court appearance Monday on unrelated first-degree burglary and first-degree theft charges involving another vehicle.

Hilo District Judge Kimberly Taniyama ordered Tearon Pacheco-Fernandez to appear at 2 p.m. Wednesday for a preliminary hearing. The judge also denied requests by Deputy Public Defender Zachary Wingert to free Pacheco-Fernandez on court-supervised release without bail or to reduce her bail from $50,000 to $5,000.

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Both charges are Class B felonies punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment upon conviction.

According to court documents filed by a police, a burglary was reported May 20 at a Pukeawe Street home in the Volcano Golf and Country Club subdivision. Officers found the residence’s rear-bedroom glass window shattered with multiple drawers open and items strewn about. Missing items included $1,800 in cash and a white 2019 Toyota Camry 4-door sedan, documents state.

The car, which has Sirius XM satellite tracking, was found parked in the public parking lot of the Hilton Waikoloa Village resort, sporting bogus plates. Documents state video surveillance from the hotel on May 20 showed Pacheco-Fernandez and her boyfriend, Joseph Paul “J.P.” Branco, get out of the car. A video from the front desk a few minutes later shows the couple checking in to the hotel with Branco paying with cash, according to documents.

Wanted bulletins on Pacheco-Fernandez were issued by police on May 29 and Aug. 28.

Branco is in custody at Hawaii Community Correctional Center and has a hearing on Thursday morning before Hilo Circuit Judge Henry Nakamoto on a motion to revoke his $25,000 bail in a pending case for unauthorized control of the Toyota Camry, plus terroristic threatening, drug and numerous firearms offenses.

Police said last month Pacheco-Fernandez was wanted for questioning in a Nov. 14 incident in which an officer’s vehicle was rammed by a on Kaumana Drive in Hilo by a white Toyota pickup truck with no hood, blacked-out windows on Kaumana Drive in Hilo. When the officer went to investigate, the truck backed into the officer’s vehicle, pulled forward, and smashed into the officer’s car a second time before driving away.

The officer was not in the vehicle, which police say is a total loss.

Then, at about midday Nov. 27, two officers fired shots at a Toyota pickup police think was driven by Pacheco-Fernandez in the parking lot of the Puainako KTA Super Store near the Jack in the Box restaurant in Hilo.

No one was injured and the truck sped away from of the parking lot, sideswiping a small, white Toyota sedan driven by a 71-year-old Hilo man before turning toward Puna on Kilauea Avenue. The driver of the sedan told the Tribune-Herald the truck that sideswiped him had heavily tinted windows.

Pacheco-Fernandez and two others were apprehended early Sunday morning at a Volcano home.

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Charges have not been filed against Pacheco-Fernandez for either November incident.

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

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