Shoplifting spree suspect faces enhanced charges due to pandemic

  • PIILANI

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.

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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.

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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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