HONOLULU (KHON2) — Five individuals were arrested for theft and trespassing on Wednesday in an anti-theft operation targeting people shoplifting from a Hilo department store.

According to Big Island police, as they worked in partnership with the store management, they performed an undercover operation after multiple reports of shoplifting.

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In one day, police had stopped a theft of more than $1,600 worth of merchandise.

Three women and two men were arrested and charged:

  • Brittnay Timbresa, age 33, of Mountain View arrested for theft in the second degree
  • Kaela Escalante, age 31 of Hilo arrested for theft in the third degree
  • Haylee Nishijima, age 21, of Hilo arrested for theft in the fourth degree
  • Bryson Sakai-Soto, age 27, no permanent address of Hilo arrested for theft in the third degree and criminal trespass in the second degree
  • Branden Bellotto, age 47, no permanent address of Hilo arrested for theft in the fourth degree

“One suspect, Britnay Timbresa, is believed to have committed thefts over a four or five-month period, sometimes taking a wagon full of items valued at over $1,000 dollars”, said Officer Tyler Jelsma, who organized the operation.

In an effort to deter thefts, police said they will continue with similar operations island-wide during the holidays later this year.

To report any criminal activity call the police non-emergency number at (808) 935-3311 or in the case of an emergency call 911.

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Those who prefer to remain anonymous can call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at (808) 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.