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Police: Burglary at Pahoa charter school caught on security video

  • CASTILLAS

An alleged burglar who was recorded by a security camera used a bolt cutter to cut the lock off a shipping container at the Hawaii Academy of Arts and Sciences late Saturday morning and stole an estimated $11,000 worth of tools, according to court documents filed by police.

Jenson Faustino-Keakaoka Castillas, 24, of Pahoa is accused of the burglary at the public charter school in Pahoa.

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Faustino, who was on probation for a previous burglary conviction, is charged with burglary during a declared emergency, second-degree burglary, first-degree theft, first-degree criminal property damage, first-degree trespass, second-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, drug paraphernalia, being a felon in possession of ammunition, and habitual property crime.

The most serious charges are Class B felonies carrying a potential 10-year prison sentence upon conviction. The complaint filed by prosecutors, however, alleges Castillas is subject to an extended term of imprisonment for the protection of the public, and describes Castillas as “a persistent and/or multiple offender.”

According to police, shortly before 11 a.m. Saturday, officers responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle at a church identified in court documents as Pahoa Sacred Hearts Church.

Upon arrival, officers found the vehicle and noted numerous battery-powered tools, a generator, spray paint cans and other miscellaneous items within, police said.

At about the same time, dispatch received a call about the school burglary.

A short time later, Castillas was spotted walking along Pahoa Village Road. According to police, he told officers he was looking for his vehicle — which, according to court documents, he described as a brown Nissan Sentra with an Alpine speaker in the trunk. Documents state that matched the description of the vehicle at the church’s back lot.

Castillas was arrested and taken to the Pahoa Police Station, where he was searched. Officers found about 11.8 grams of methamphetamine and 2.4 grams of marijuana, police said.

Detectives obtained a search warrant for the vehicle, confirmed the stolen items, and recovered live ammunition, which Castillas is legally prohibited from possessing, according to police.

At Castillas’ initial court appearance Tuesday, Deputy Public Defender Justin Lee asked Hilo District Judge Jeffrey Hawi to free Castillas on court-supervised release without monetary bail or to reduce his bail, and Deputy Prosecutor Kevin Soong objected.

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Hawk denied the defense’s motion, maintained Castillas’ bail at $146,000, and ordered him to return Thursday for a preliminary hearing.

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

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