Suspect charged with 39 counts after ‘crazy’ crime spree on Big Island

Suspect charged with 39 counts after ‘crazy’ crime spree on Big Island
(Image: Louise Ungerman)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A 38-year-old man accused of going on a six-hour crime spree that spanned four Big Island police districts was charged with 39 counts Thursday.

(Image: Hawaii Police)
(Image: Hawaii Police)

Joshua Hams, of Kailua-Kona, is being held on $812,000 bail.

On Thursday afternoon he was charged with a litany of alleged crimes, from car theft to terroristic threatening to robbery and firearms charges.

Big Island police say it all started around 8 a.m. Wednesday.

Police said they got a call about a “mentally unstable” man at a hotel on Banyan Drive in Hilo. The caller said the suspect was armed and was driving a dark Honda SUV.

Officers spotted him on Banyan Drive just after 9:20 a.m., and say he drove off and eventually crashed into a truck.

Just before 11, police said Hams then stole a state truck and crashed into another car then allegedly pointed a gun at the driver.

Minutes later, he allegedly robbed a gas station at gunpoint on Route 11.

Then, just after noon, Hams allegedly shot out the window of the state vehicle he was driving and fled the area.

About 10 minutes later, police said he tried to enter a locked AT&T store, and fired one round through the front door, shattering the glass. Police said he stole items from the store and fled.

After striking several vehicles, Hams allegedly tried stealing a car at gunpoint from a woman at a gas station on Lako Street in Kailua-Kona.

When she resisted, police said he then allegedly car-jacked another woman at the same gas station.

Police said he drove the stolen car to a home on Kalamakua Street and barricaded himself in. That’s when the police department’s Special Response Team responded.

Hams finally gave up about an hour later, officials said.

At the crash sites, witness Louise Ungerman said she narrowly avoided being struck by the suspect.

“Cars stopped and the dump truck in front of me just did not, and it literally split the difference between the two rows of vehicles and just plowed through them,” she said.

“It was crazy. Absolutely crazy."

No injuries were reported in any of the incidents.

Anyone who may have additional information is asked to call (808) 326-4646 ext. 281 or Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300.

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