Alleged hotel car thief is a 10-time felon


A preliminary hearing is scheduled for today in the case a 22-year-old Hilo man accused of posing as a parking valet at a Hilo hotel and stealing a family’s rental car.

Shaycen Roily Sabino is charged with first-degree theft, unauthorized control of a stolen vehicle, and habitual property crime.


According to court documents filed by police, a married couple, both 54, told officers a man approached them at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel on Thanksgiving Day as they unloaded their Hertz/Thrifty rental vehicle, a brown 2020 Chevrolet Malibu.

The man identified himself as a valet attendant and said he’d park the car for them.

The couple said the keys were in the car, and they would not have allowed the man to enter the vehicle had they known the Hilo Hawaiian doesn’t have valet parking.

At about 9:45 a.m. Friday, an officer allegedly observed Sabino driving the car in the area of Kilauea Avenue and Kekuanaoa Street and initiated an all-points bulletin.

At about 9:25 a.m. Saturday, another officer reportedly spotted Sabino driving the stolen car north on Kanoelehua Avenue and followed the vehicle. The pursuing officer said Sabino turned left onto Kamehameha Avenue, then right onto Lihiwai Street, where he lost sight of the car, documents state.

A third officer found the car unoccupied in the parking lot of the Grand Naniloa Hotel on Banyan Drive a short time later and reportedly saw Sabino fleeing on foot toward the Hilo Hawaiian. Officers arrested Sabino in the downstairs lobby bathroom of the Hilo Hawaiian.

At Sabino’s initial court appearance on Monday, Deputy Public Defender Megan Fellows moved that Sabino — who has 10 prior felony convictions — be freed on court-supervised release.

The state objected to the motion, and Hilo District Judge Jeffrey Hawk scheduled Sabino’s preliminary hearing for today and maintained his bail at $45,000.

Sabino remains in custody at Hawaii Community Correctional Center.

The most serious charge, first-degree theft, is a Class B felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

According to county Prosecutor Kelden Waltjen, if Sabino is convicted as charged, he’ll face a mandatory prison term and will not be eligible for probation.

Email John Burnett at

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