2 DAYS, 3 POLICE CAR CHASES
CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARBULLETIN.COM
The Honolulu Fire Department examined a stolen vehicle that crashed yesterday at Hotel and Bethel streets after being involved in a high-speed chase from Hauula to downtown Honolulu.
On the run
Police capture a car theft suspect hiding in a garage after he leads them on a chase from Hauula to Honolulu
As dogs and rifle-toting police searched a luxury condominium building for three hours yesterday, a 36-year-old car theft suspect hid beneath a cover draped over a motorcycle and nearly managed to elude capture.
The suspect led police on an islandwide, off-and-on car chase yesterday from Windward Oahu to downtown Honolulu, the third police car chase in the last two days.
Police were just about to end the search yesterday when the suspect was captured. Police Specialized Services Division members had formed a football-style huddle and shouted "SSD!" after conducting an exhaustive search at about 3:50 p.m. inside the Honolulu Park Place garage at 1212 Nuuanu Ave.
Officers and 10 police dogs, including a bloodhound, had only recovered some clothing and a baseball cap.
As they began departing, a commotion could be heard from the bottom floor of the garage.
Three patrol officers doing another quick search on the bottom floor of the garage discovered the suspect atop a motorcycle concealed beneath a cover, just a few yards from where police were stationed near the guest parking entrance.
"He was feeling the outside part, and ... he felt a body underneath the motorcycle cover," Sgt. Chi Hun So said. "The suspect reacted and decided to run, and my officers took that opportunity to apprehend the suspect."
After a brief struggle, officers had the suspect, a short, slight man, under control.
Building maintenance man Willie Giovannetti said, "They had to pull him from underneath the cover. It went down pretty smoothly."
The man, wearing a white T-shirt and white shorts, was cuffed and whisked into a patrol car with a little blood from minor abrasions to his forehead sustained in the scuffle.
He was arrested on suspicion of driving a stolen vehicle and for leaving the scene of an accident at Bethel and Hotel streets.
CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARBULLETIN.COM
The Honolulu Police Department brought in a canine unit yesterday in an effort to apprehend a man who ran off after crashing a stolen vehicle at Hotel and Bethel streets.
The suspect and a female passenger were observed breaking into cars at Ehukai Beach Park at about 10 a.m. Police said the couple left the scene in a stolen blue four-door 2001 Dodge Stratus. Police said they spotted the car in Hauula, and when the suspect noticed officers following him, he attempted to drive away. Police cars and the police helicopter began actively pursuing the car on Kahekili Highway and followed the suspect over Likelike Highway.
At about 12:20 p.m. the suspect was headed west on the H-1 onto the Moanalua Freeway, got off at the Fort Shafter exit, then got back on the freeway headed east. The suspect exited at the Vineyard offramp, and the police helicopter followed the car's progress on surface streets in the Punchbowl, Kapiolani and McCully areas and back onto the freeway.
After driving into the airport industrial area, the suspect eluded the police helicopter.
At about 1:10 p.m. the suspect crashed into another car at Hotel and Bethel streets, police said. The driver of the other car was taken to Straub in good condition.
The suspect's passenger ran into a Ross Dress for Less store but was quickly caught. She also was taken to Straub and then arrested on an outstanding warrant.
The driver ran mauka, and witnesses reported seeing him inside the Honolulu Park Place parking garage at the corner of Nuuanu Avenue and Beretania Street.
CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
An officer stopped a car trying to leave the Honolulu Park Place condominium at 1212 Nuuanu Ave. during yesterday's search. The man was later found hiding under a motorcycle cover in the condo's garage.
Some of the 1,200 residents were afraid after seeing police and learning the suspect was on the loose in their parking garage, while others just wanted to get back into the building.
One woman, who had to take her car sometime after 1 p.m., said she was so scared she ran to her car. Police searched her car before she left the building.
This was the third auto theft incident in two days involving a dramatic police chase.
On Wednesday a suspected car thief allegedly rammed a stolen minivan into 14 vehicles as he tried to flee from police on Kalanianaole Highway just before the H-1 freeway entrance near Ainakoa Avenue. Police approached the van on foot as it was stopped at a light. One officer fired her handgun and struck the van's driver's-side door. The driver was arrested on attempted-murder charges and driving a stolen vehicle.
On Wednesday night, police arrested a 27-year-old man after he allegedly crashed a stolen car in Maili. The suspect was allegedly involved in a car break-in at the Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park in Kapolei, and was later spotted in Maili in a motor vehicle collision trying to escape on foot.