Man charged with Puna robberies, burglaries
Big Island police have charged a 27-year-old former resident of Pahoa with several offenses stemming from incidents that occurred in the Puna District last weekend.
On May 4, at 8:05 pm, Phillip Jon Richardson, who has no permanent address, was arrested at a home on 18th Avenue in Hawaiian Paradise Park.
The 28-year-old female victim reported that as she was dropping off a relative at the residence, the suspect opened her car door, identified himself as a police officer and demanding the car keys.
The victim said that the suspect grabbed her and was forcibly trying to pull her out of the vehicle in an attempt to take the vehicle. During the confrontation, another relative in the same vehicle used his cell phone to call 911. However, the suspect removed the phone from the 76-year-old victim before he could complete the call.
The 28-year-old victim managed to call a 29-year-old man on her cell phone to ask for assistance. As he arrived at the property, the suspect then attempted to enter the 29-year-old man’s vehicle. When he was unable to do so, the suspect reached into the vehicle, grabbing the victim’s arm and attempted to open the vehicle’s door. The suspect reportedly left the scene in a pickup truck.
A short time later, police received a report of a pickup truck ramming into a house on 17th Avenue, causing damage to the wooden structure. A 36-year-old female occupant of the residence told police that the male driver exited the truck and was seen entering her house through a window.
As police arrived in the area, the pickup truck was observed fleeing the scene. The suspect abandoned the truck and fled on foot into the bushes. The victim discovered that a safe had been stolen from the house and a parked vehicle on the property had been entered with items removed.
During the investigation, police also received a report from a 63-year-old man from 1st Avenue, who informed police that while in his house, a pickup truck pulled into his property and the male suspect forced his way into the victim’s home and removed a computer before fleeing the area.
No one was seriously injured during these crimes.
Richardson was being held in the police cellblock while detectives continued the investigation.
At 7 p.m. Monday, after conferring with prosecutors, detectives charged Richardson with two counts of second-degree attempted robbery, one count of phone ripping, one count of impersonating a law enforcement officer, two counts of first-degree burglary, one count of first-degree unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle, one count of fourth-degree criminal property damage and one count of resisting an order to stop.
Richardson’s bail was set at $83,000. He was scheduled to make his initial court appearance Tuesday afternoon.
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