Stolen catalytic converter found in man’s belongings | News, sports, jobs

WILOLO – A catalytic converter and stolen tools were found while searching a duffel bag belonging to a man arrested Wednesday morning in Kihei, police said.

Ryan Okamura, 35, of Wailuku has been charged with second-degree theft.

He had a reciprocating saw and a black duffel bag with a metal tube partly protruding from it when police called him at 4:24 a.m. Wednesday on Alanui Ke Alii and Liloa Drive, according to an announcement filed in court to support the charge. Four minutes earlier, a man called police to report the sound of cutting and grinding a power tool coming from Alanui Ke Alii and seeing sparks coming from a white minibus, the ad said. The caller reported seeing a man in dark clothes walking toward Kihei South Road.

According to the statement, after Okamura’s arrest, police obtained an order to search the duffel bag containing the catalytic converter and tools. The catalytic converter, valued at $1,472, was matched with a white Honda Odyssey registered to the Kihei man.

During Okamura’s initial appearance Thursday in Weloko County Court, Deputy Attorney General Karen Druskowski asked to keep bail at $5,000 for the defendant.

She said Okamura has previous convictions of second-degree theft, third-degree assault, nine counts of contempt of court, two counts of failure to appear, driving without a license, driving under the influence, promotion in third degree injurious drug and violation of liquor.

In a pending case, he is charged with first-degree burglary, first-degree unauthorized entry into a dwelling, second-degree theft and three counts of habitual property crimes.

Deputy Solicitor General William Bannell has asked that bail be reduced to $1,000 for Okamura, who works part-time as a landscaper.

Judge Blaine Kobayashi was released on $5,000 bail.

“Given the defendant’s extensive criminal record, including the theft charges, and the fact that he is awaiting trial for another theft-related charge, the state’s request is reasonable and justified under the circumstances,” Kobayashi said.

* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at [email protected]

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