Honokaa man charged after breaking into visitor’s car


A Honokaa man is in police custody in connection with a theft from a visitor’s rental car.

Just after 1 p.m. Monday, a 58-year-old man from Henryville, Ind., reported that as he was returning to his unlocked rental car parked near a shopping center in Honokaa, he saw a man leaning in through the passenger door, removing cash from the console and fleeing on foot, according to the Hawaii Police Department.

About 15 minutes later, police located the man, identified as Jovin Baba Batalona. He was arrested and taken to the Hilo police cellblock while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continued the investigation.

At 2:05 p.m. Tuesday, Batalona was charged with unauthorized entry of a motor vehicle and third-degree theft, according to police. His bail was set at $11,000. He remains at the cellblock pending his initial court appearance scheduled for Wednesday.