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Police have located and charged a Hilo man regarding a robbery Tuesday (Sept 26)

UPDATED (4:54 p.m. on 9/27/2017)

Hawaiʻi Island police have charged a 39-year-old Hilo man in connection with a robbery reported to have occurred yesterday (September 26), at approximately 2:30 p.m. in Panaʻewa.

A 49-year-old female visitor from Massachusetts reported witnessing an unknown male suspect enter her rental vehicle, parked on the Panaewa zoo entrance road, without permission and began removing her belongings from within. She confronted the male suspect who tried to run back to his vehicle parked nearby when she tried to stop the male suspect. According to the woman, the suspect placed his arm around her neck and dragged her approximately 15 feet and threw to the ground causing pain to her neck.

Police arrested Benny Rapoza, Jr., last night at a residence in a lower Puna subdivision. He was charged this afternoon (September 27), just after 4:00 p.m. and continues to be held at the Hilo cellblock in lieu of $10,000 bail pending his initial court appearance in South Hilo District Court tomorrow afternoon (September 28).

Rapoza is charged with 2nd-degree robbery and 1st-degree unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle.

Police ask anyone with additional information about this investigation to call Detective Grant Todd at (808) 961-2381.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at (808) 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to a $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

UPDATED (4:19 p.m. on 9/27/2017)

Hawaiʻi Island police have located a 39-year-old Hilo man wanted for questioning for a robbery that occurred yesterday (September 26), at approximately 2:30 p.m. in Panaʻewa.

Police arrested Benny Rapoza, Jr., last night at a residence in a lower Puna subdivision. He is being held at the Hilo cellblock while detectives with the Criminal Investigation Section continue this investigation.

Police ask anyone with information relating to this case to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311 or Detective Grant Todd at (808) 961-2381 or grant.todd@hawaiicounty.gov.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at (808) 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to a $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

MEDIA RELEASE

Benny Rapoza, Jr.

Benny Rapoza, Jr.

Hawaiʻi Island police are requesting the public’s assistance in locating a 39-year-old Hilo man wanted for questioning for a robbery that occurred today (September 26), at approximately 2:30 p.m. in Panaʻewa.

Sought is Benny Rapoza, Jr., described as 5-feet-6-inches, 170 pounds, brown eyes and brown hair.

Rapoza has no known permanent address but frequents the Hilo and Puna areas. Rapoza may be operating a dark green Chevy Tracker SUV with Hawaiʻi license plate number HMW 354.

Police ask anyone with information on his whereabouts to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311 or Detective Grant Todd at (808) 961-2381 or grant.todd@hawaiicounty.gov.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at (808) 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to a $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID.

Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

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