Police arrest five in Hilo theft sting

After conducting an anti-theft operation targeting people shoplifting from a Hilo department store, Hilo Community Policing Section officers arrested five individuals for theft and trespassing on Wednesday.

Police, working in partnership with store management, performed the undercover operation after repeated reports of shoplifting taking place, and in one day, according to a media release, prevented the theft of more than $1,600 worth of merchandise.


Police arrested and charged the following three women and two men: Brittnay Timbresa, 33, of Mountain View, with second-degree theft; Kaela Escalante, 31, of Hilo, of third-degree theft; Haylee Nishijima, 21, of Hilo, with fourth-degree theft; Bryson Sakai-Soto, 27, of Hilo, third-degree theft and second-criminal trespass; and Branden Bellotto, 47, of Hilo, fourth-degree theft.

“One suspect, Britnay Timbresa, is believed to have committed thefts over a four or five month period, sometimes taking a wagon full of items valued at over $1,000 dollars,” said Officer Tyler Jelsma, who organized the operation.

Timbresa was charged with a felony based on the amount of items stolen.

Police will continue similar operations islandwide during the holidays later this year.

The public is encouraged to call police to report criminal activity, by calling the police non-emergency number at (808) 935-3311 or in the case of an emergency calling 911. Those who prefer to remain anymous should call Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300.

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