Illegal occupants at shuttered Hilo hotel clear out before officers conduct sweep

Police conduct sweep at the former Uncle Billy’s Hilo Bay Hotel.
Police conduct sweep at the former Uncle Billy’s Hilo Bay Hotel.(Department of Land and Natural Resources)
Updated: Apr. 28, 2021 at 3:57 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Law enforcement officers conducted a sweep at the former Uncle Billy’s Hilo Bay Hotel Wednesday morning but said they did not find any illegal occupants.

Fifteen officers searched and cleared all 146 hotel rooms after homeless individuals were previously spotted on the property.

Although officers did not find anyone during the sweep, they said there was evidence that the rooms had been recently occupied.

Police found trash, clothing and bedding scattered throughout the property, with graffiti scrawled on doors and on both interior and exterior walls.

The shuttered hotel was condemned by Hawaii County authorities for its unsafe condition. Officials said the interior of the hotel is considered a public health hazard and people are cautioned to stay out.

The property is currently under the jurisdiction of the DLNR Land Division.

DLNR said it is in the process of finding developers to renovate the salvageable buildings on the property and to demolish those that are beyond repair.

Officials also said a private security company is being contracted to provide 24-hour security. DLNR is also investigating the possibility of putting permanent barriers up until a new lease for the property is issued.

People who had been living in the hotel’s rooms were notified that law enforcement would be coming in to clear it.

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