Big Island police nab suspect found asleep at wheel in stolen car

Published: Jul. 16, 2015 at 9:55 AM HST
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HILO, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Hilo man has been charged after he was found asleep at the wheel in the car he allegedly stole.

Big Island police arrested 30-year-old Jantzen-James Mata on Monday after locating the sedan in the Hawaiian Acres subdivision of Puna. The car's engine was running and Mata was passed out with drug paraphernalia on the seat next to him, police said.

After further investigation, officers determined that the car was stolen in Hilo on Saturday. They also linked Mata to another auto theft in which a SUV was stolen from Kurtistown on June 28.

Mata was charged on Tuesday with second-degree theft, unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, promoting a dangerous drug and possessing drug paraphernalia. His bail was set at $40,000.

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