Hawaii News

Replica medals stolen from Merrie Monarch Festival office in Hilo found, 2 men arrested

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Hawai‘i Island police have recovered the medals and other items stolen in the recent Merrie Monarch Festival office burglary case. The stolen items were recovered during a police investigation into a criminal trespass case that resulted in two men being arrested.

Makua Amituanai

At 7:49 a.m. on June 19, 2023, Hilo patrol officers responded to a reported burglary at the Merrie Monarch Festival office located in the 800 block of Pi‘ilani Street. It was reported that sometime between 10 a.m. on Sunday and 7 a.m. Monday, unknown suspect(s) entered the building and removed numerous items valued at more than $2,700.

It was initially reported that 12 Merrie Monarch medals were stolen, however during the course of the investigation it was determined that only eight medals were missing.

On Tuesday morning, as police continued their investigation into the Merrie Monarch burglary, Hilo patrol officers responded to a trespassing call at 9:17 a.m. at a closed business in the 390 block of Hualani Street in Hilo. The property manager reported that the business had been unlawfully entered by an unknown number of suspects. When officers arrived on scene, they located 36-year-old Dayson Eblacas of Ewa Beach, O‘ahu, and 30-year-old Makua Amituanai of Pāhoa, inside the business and arrested both men for first-degree criminal trespass.

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Both men were suspected of illegally squatting at the property.

Later that same day, Hawai‘i Police Department’s Area I Criminal Investigation Section Crime Reduction Unit obtained a search warrant for the business where the two men were arrested. Upon executing the search warrant at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday evening, police recovered property stolen from the Merrie Monarch Festival office, including eight Merrie Monarch medals, numerous electronic devices and clothing items.

Both suspects remain in custody at the Hawai’i Police Department East Hawai’i Detention Center pending additional investigation. Police are continuing to investigate the Merrie Monarch burglary and anticipate additional arrests and charges to be forthcoming in that burglary investigation.

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The Hawai‘i Police Department’s Area I Criminal Investigation Section Crime Reduction Unit is continuing the investigation and police ask that anyone with information regarding these incidents to call the department’s non-emergency line at 808-935-3311 or contact Detective John Balberde at john.balberde@hawaiicounty.gov.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 808-961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

A photo of Dayson Eblacas is not available at this time.

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