Big Island police arrest teen suspected in officer assault, dozens of car thefts

Big Island teen described as a 'menace' captured in Puna
Hawaii County Police Dept.
Hawaii County Police Dept.

HILO, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) - A wanted Mountain View man suspected of driving his car at a police officer was arrested Thursday.

Kahekili Krause, 18, who is also a suspect in at least 55 car thefts, was taken into custody after nearly a week on the run.

Police were close to arresting him Wednesday after he allegedly lost control of a stolen Nissan 370Z. The car went airborne and flipped several times in a garden on Ainaloa Way.

It ended up on its side next to Young Chong's fruit trees.

"Boom!" said Chong, of the noise the car made. "Then smoke (was) coming out."

Chong said she was surprised to see two people inside the vehicle crawl out, put on backpacks, and start running away.

The woman who police suspect was with Krause has not been arrested in connection with the crash.

Authorities had been searching for Krause since Jan. 19, when police say he drove a car right at a police officer who was trying to pull him over in the Hawaiian Beaches area. The officer was not hurt, and a later Crimestoppers bulletin called Krause armed and dangerous.

Police say Krause is part of a group of car thieves. Also connected to the string of crimes: Kahee Manuwai was arrested over the weekend, and police say he was also in a car stolen from the Aloha Kia Dealership in Kailua Kona.

And police are still looking for another suspect in the case -- Shannon Navor.

Hawaii County Police Lieutenant Gregory Esteban said that since September, the trio have been connected to a total of 55 stolen car cases all over the island. "Forty-five reports of stolen vehicles in East Hawaii, and there's at least 10 vehicles in the area that includes in Kona."

Krause has not been charged he remains in the police cellblock in Hilo.

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