Man accused of Puna crime spree


Police charged a 27-year-old former resident of Pahoa with several offenses stemming from incidents that reportedly occurred in the Puna District last weekend.

Police arrested Phillip Jon Richardson, who has no permanent address, Saturday evening, in Hawaiian Paradise Park. A 28-year-old woman said Richardson tried to force his way into her car, identifying himself as a police officer. One of her passengers called 911, but Richardson took the phone away before the call completed. The woman then called another man to ask for help. When he arrived, Richardson attempted to get into his vehicle. Richardson then reportedly left the scene in a pickup truck.

A short time later, police received a report of a pickup truck ramming into a house on 17th Avenue, causing damage. A woman who lived at the house told police that a man exited the truck and entered her house through a window. As police arrived, they saw a pickup truck fleeing the scene. Richardson then allegedly abandoned the truck and fled on foot into the bushes. The woman accused Richardson of stealing a safe as well as items from a parked vehicle on the property.

A 63-year-old man from 1st Avenue also reported seeing a pickup truck pull into his property. He said a male suspect forced his way into his home and stole a computer before fleeing.

No one was seriously injured during the crimes, police said.

Richardson was being held in the police cellblock while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continued the investigation.

Monday evening, detectives charged Richardson with two counts of second-degree attempted robbery, one count of phone ripping, one count of impersonating a law enforcement officer, two counts of first-degree burglary, one count of first-degree unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle, one count of fourth-degree criminal property damage and one count of resisting an order to stop. Richardson’s bail was set at $83,000. He was scheduled to make his initial court appearance Tuesday.