Rental car thief suspects charged

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KEALAKEKUA — The couple arrested in a car reported stolen from a rental car company said they were given the vehicle by a man with an unknown last name and no way to contact him, according to testimony in court Thursday.

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KEALAKEKUA — The couple arrested in a car reported stolen from a rental car company said they were given the vehicle by a man with an unknown last name and no way to contact him, according to testimony in court Thursday.

Jeremy Pilgrim, 37, Kailua-Kona, and Rita Reeves, 34, Kailua-Kona, were both arrested on June 6 on a number of felony charges. The two were both charged with unlawful control of a propelled vehicle, third-degree promotion of dangerous drug and possession of paraphernalia. Pilgrim was also charged with second-degree meth trafficking.

The two were in a gray 2016 Honda Versa on an access road in between Kealakehe Parkway and Keanalehu Drive in Kona, past a gate that is normally kept locked.

Someone called the car into dispatch, who determined it was reported stolen from Avis/Budget Group on March 24.

Hawaii Police officer Kaea Sugata was assigned to the call, drove to the scene and got out. He began to walk on the road toward the car when it began moving toward him.

He ordered the car to stop, he said, pointing his shotgun at the vehicle. The driver, later identified as Pilgrim, did so.

Pilgrim and Reeves, who was in the front passenger seat, were arrested. When an officer performed an initial search on Pilgrim, police said three packets of presumptive meth were recovered. The three totalled 1.2 grams, police said. Also inside were a pipe with marijuana residue, a bag with 3.5 grams of presumptive marijuana and “a burnt marijuana cigarette,” testified officer Marco Segobia, who tested the materials.

A glass pipe with meth residue was found in both seating areas, he said.

Detective Walter Ah Mow took an individual statement from both people, whose stories mirrored each other. A friend named Teva had given the car to Pilgrim and neither knew it was stolen, they said. When questioned neither could provide a last name or way to contact the person, Ah Mow testified.

This is not the first time either has found themselves in front of a judge.

Pilgrim’s first felony arrest came on April 30, 1997, on a charge of first-degree burglary. He eventually pleaded no contest to an amended complaint listing second-degree burglary and illegal place to keep a firearm. He violated the probation in that case in 1999 and appeared in court on a number of counts in the following year, including driving under the influence of alcohol, burglary and other drug possession cases.

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Reeves sole criminal circuit court case is a deferred acceptance of no-contest plea to 2003 case of third-degree promotion of a detrimental drug, third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug and drug paraphernalia. The charges were dismissed on Oct. 29, 2015.

Pilgrim remains in custody on a $35,000 bond and Reeves is on supervised release. Both area due in Judge Melvin Fujino’s courtroom at 11:30 a.m. June 17.

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