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Police arrest two in attempted Puna auto theft


A Hawaiian Beaches couple is in police custody following an incident involving an attempted vehicle theft in Hawaiian Beaches.

Hawaiʻi Island Police responded to a report of a motor vehicle theft-in-progress in the area at about 9:40 a.m., (October 12).

Police investigating the incident learned that the male suspect tried to drive off with an unoccupied truck. The owner of the vehicle observed the male entering the truck and attempted to stop him from leaving the area.

While the victim was trying to stop the suspect, another truck being operated by a female suspect struck the back end of the victim’s vehicle. The male suspect and female suspect then allegedly threatened the victim and another witness before they both fled the area.

Police conducted a search of the immediate area and were able to apprehend the two suspects shortly after that. They are identified as Jason Balai a 53-year-old and 29-year-old Juanita Grammer.

Balai was charged with unauthorized entry to a motor vehicle, theft, unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, attempted robbery in the second degree and is being held in lieu of $55,000.00 bail. Juanita Grammer was charged with two counts of reckless endangering, two counts of terroristic threatening, criminal property damage, being an accomplice to the robbery in the second degree and is being held in lieu of $72,000.00 bail pending their initial court appearance, Monday, (October 15).

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