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Men charged in separate thefts

Updated: 
October 28, 2017 - 12:05am

Hawaii Island police arrested a Naalehu man for several offenses following an investigation into a stolen all-terrain vehicle.

On Oct. 19, Ka’u patrol officers responded to a report of a burglary in the Naalehu area in which an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) was stolen. As officers continued their investigation, they learned the ATV was possibly located at a residence in the same area.

On Wednesday, officers located the ATV at a Naalehu residence and also encountered 34-year-old Wade Baji Jr., who was wanted on an outstanding arrest warrant for criminal contempt of court. As officers attempted to take Baji into custody, he fled the immediate area on foot. As officers pursued Baji through the subdivision, and after a struggle with officers, Baji was taken into custody.

On Friday, detectives charged Baji with theft in the second degree, resisting arrest, terroristic threatening in the first degree, assault on a police officer in the second degree, and two counts of assault on a police officer in the first degree.

His total bail has been set at $44,000, and he continues to be held at the Kealakehe Police Station pending his initial court appearance Monday at the Kona District Court.

Police also charged a 25-year-old man in connection with an auto theft.

At 1:05 p.m., Wednesday, officers responded to an Iwalani Street residence in Hilo for a report of a stolen Acura sedan. The investigation that followed indicated that the responsible party was Jeremy Rafael Jr., a man known to officers as one of the many suspected car thieves rounded up by the department’s auto theft task force a few months ago.

Rafael is being charged with one count each of unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug and prohibited acts related to drug paraphernalia.

He remains at the Hilo cellblock in lieu of $20,000 bail pending his initial appearance scheduled for Monday afternoon in South Hilo District Court.

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