Shoplifting spree suspect faces enhanced charges due to pandemic


A man accused of a shoplifting spree late last month in Hilo faces enhanced charges because of the declared emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Police on Saturday arrested 28-year-old Bryan Kaipo Piilani of Hilo at a West Kawailani Street home and charged him Sunday with two counts of first-degree theft during an emergency period and fourth degree theft. His bail was set at $51,000.


According to police, on Feb. 22, Piilani took about $160 worth of items from the Hilo Surplus Store on Mamo Street.

The following day, he allegedly took about $379 worth of merchandise from a Kinoole Street convenience store. Then, on Thursday, he took about $365 worth of items from a West Kawailani Street convenience store.

Police say he was identified from surveillance video at each location.


Piilani made his initial court appearance on Monday, Hilo District Judge Bruce Larson reduced Piilani’s bail to $21,000 over prosecutors’ objections, and ordered him to return for a preliminary hearing at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The charges were enhanced from misdemeanors for both theft charges over $300 to Class B felonies, which could carry up to 10 years imprisonment, upon conviction.

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