A man and woman accused of burglarizing a Puako home Sunday are free on court-supervised release after making their initial court appearances Tuesday.
Hilo District Judge Margaret Masunaga granted the release status without cash bail for 37-year-old Sinbad Mareko of Kailua-Kona and 37-year-old Elaine Abbott because the Hawaii Supreme Court ordered the state to keep jail and prison populations down because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The prosecution didn’t object to the public defender’s request for the supervised release for Mareko and Abbott.
The judge ordered both defendants to return to court at 1 p.m. June 4 for a preliminary hearing.
Mareko is charged with first-degree burglary and violating the emergency stay-at-home order, and Abbott is charged with first-degree burglary, reckless driving and violating the emergency stay-at-home order.
According to police, officers responded to a Puako Beach Drive home upon a report that a burglary had just occurred. The resident told police a man and woman had unlawfully entered the property, took several items and drove away.
Officers found Mareko and Abbott and the vehicle allegedly involved on Kawaihae Road a short time later. Both were arrested and later charged.
Abbott’s original bail was $10,750, while Mareko’s was $10,500. Both bail amounts were suspended by the judge.
First-degree burglary is usually a Class B felony punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment, upon conviction, but can be prosecuted as a Class A felony punishable by up to 20 years during a declared emergency.
Police are reminding the public about enhanced penalties for certain criminal offenses in light of the current COVID-19 proclamation by Gov. David Ige. These offenses include but are not limited to burglary, robbery, theft and property damage.