HONOLULU (KHON2) — Police on Hawaii Island said 40-year-old Nathan Niihau, of Hilo was charged “with an array of offenses following a month-long crime spree,” on Thursday, July 8.
Niihau was charged on suspicion of burglary during an emergency period, two counts of first-degree theft, two counts of first-degree criminal property damage and resisting an order to stop during Thursday afternoon. His total bail was set at $136,000, police said.
Officials said Niihau’s charges on Thursday stemmed from an incident that took place on Sunday, July 4. According to police, Niihau was out on supervised release for previous charges at the time of the July 4 incident.
Police said, an employee of a business on the 300 block of Kanoelehua Avenue in Hilo was responding to an alarm just before 11 p.m. on July 4.
Niihau was then allegedly observed in a locked fenced area within the property. Officials said Niihau was witnessed placing valuable items into the bed of a Nissan pickup truck that belonged to the business.
Niihau then forcefully drove the truck through the locked gate and left the property, Hawaii police said. He was identified as allegedly driving the stolen truck on several occasions before he was arrested, according to police.
Authorities said Niihau allegedly rammed the stolen Nissan truck into a galvanized gate of a Hakalau residence, which led to a short vehicle pursuit in Hilo before he was taken into custody.
According to police, Niihau had been arrested while allegedly driving a stolen Jeep on Wednesday, June 30. He was charged on suspicion of unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, first-degree theft, third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, theft of credit card and unauthorized possession of confidential personal information after police investigated and executed a search warrant on the Jeep.
Niihau’s bail was set at $75,000 for the June incident, but upon his first appearance in Hilo District Court on Thursday, July 1, he was granted supervised release at the objection of prosecutors, according to police.
Police said Niihau was also allegedly linked to a burglary on Tuesday, June 1, at a County facility on Kino‘ole Street in Hilo. The June 1 burglary case was routed to the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, police said.
Niihau appeared on Friday, June 9, in Hilo District Court for his most recent charges. Hawaii police remind the public that there are stricter penalties for offenses including burglary, theft, criminal property damage and robbery in light of Gov. David Ige’s COVID-19 emergency proclamation.