Capt. Robert Wagner, Hawaii County Police Department
Two escapees remain on the run and are looking for quick cash. The convicts broke out of the Hawaii Community Correctional Center Wednesday morning at 10:00 and two task forces are still on the hunt for the men.
Jarvis Naoki Higa and Ryan James Jeffries-Hamar should be locked up but have spent the last two days on the run and police have heard from multiple credible sources they intend to rob a bank. Today Hawaii County Police warned financial institutions to be on heightened security.
Customers and employees were a bit on edge but still carried on.
"It concerns me but I can't say that I'm too worried because from past experiences here people who escape, it doesn't take too long for them to be found. We're on an island and there aren't that many hiding places," said Ron Broomell, Hilo resident. "If they try to rob a bank they're certainly going to get caught."
A dozen detectives and officers are dedicated to looking for them on the Hilo side and another task force is set up on the Kona side. It's unknown if the cons are still together. Higa may stay in Hilo. Jeffries Hamar is from Kona.
Police got a tip they were still in the Kaumana area Thursday morning at 10:00. Yesterday they broke into a home and stole food and clothes and tried to steal a car but failed.
Today there was another robbery in the same Kaumana area. No one was caught, but prison officials do not think it was connected to the escapees.
Residents are keeping doors and cars locked.
"Oh yes doors are always locked," said Manuel DeSilva, Kaumana resident.
"And we have a dog in the back of our house, Jackie, she barks when any strangers come around. So we quick go run and go check," said Linda DeSilva, Kaumana resident. "Got to get more dogs around so can catch them."
Schools in the area remained on semi-lockdown. Kids at Kaumana Elementary were allowed outside at recess, but adults lined the perimeter of campus and escorted kids to the restrooms.
Both men are dangerous and could be armed. They did beat a guard during their escape. Higa is awaiting trial for attempted murder. Jeffries-Hamar was in for a parole violation and a previous escape in August.
"I think it's only a matter of time before they do get apprehended but hopefully we'll catch them sooner than later," said Capt. Robert Wagner, Hawaii County Police Department.
There was chatter on Facebook that the inmates were caught but officers said that was not true. Police have been responding to leads but the convicts are still on the loose.
If you see either of the men call 911 immediately.