SOUTH KONA, Hawaii: A Kona man is in police custody for auto theft and other offenses.
A patrol officer on routine patrol last Wednesday (June 20) noticed a sedan being driven by a man known to the officer as someone without a valid driver’s license. After confirming with police dispatchers that the motorist was unlicensed, the officer attempted to make a traffic stop using his lights and siren.
The driver sped away, recklessly passing other motorists. The officer discontinued the pursuit for the safety of the public but continued to search for the vehicle and was able to locate it within a few minutes at the intersection of Kiloa Road and Kinue Road. It was stopped and unoccupied with the driver door ajar and the engine idling. The car had been reported stolen earlier that afternoon.
An all-points bulletin was issued for the driver, 28-year-old Matthew Guba of Kailua-Kona.
On Saturday (June 23) at 11:45 p.m., an officer located Guba in Kailua-Kona and arrested him on suspicion of unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle and resisting an order to stop. He was taken to the Kona police cellblock while detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section continued the investigation.
At 11:30 a.m. Monday (June 25), Guba was charged with unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, resisting an order to stop, driving without a license and reckless driving. His bail was set at $13,000. He remains at the cellblock pending his initial court appearance scheduled for Tuesday (June 26).
Police are taking this opportunity to advise the public that the West Hawaiʻi area has experienced a rash of unrelated vehicle thefts with six reported in the last two weeks. The vehicles being targeted are early model Honda sedans and Toyota Tacomas. The area has also experienced an increase in unauthorized entries into motor vehicles.
Police urge the public to safeguard their vehicles by locking them and not leaving valuables inside.
SOURCE: Hawaii County Police