Big Island police apprehend second escapee

31-year-old Ryan Jeffries-Hamar arrested in Puna

Published  1:34 PM HST Dec 14, 2012
Ryan Jeffries-Hamar

The second of two escaped Big Island criminals was apprehended by police Thursday night.

Police received multiple sighting of Jeffries-Hamar in Kona. They tracked him from Kona to Puna after discovering that he had fled on the back of a motorcycle.

According to police, 35-year-old Jarvis Higa and 31-year-old Ryan Jeffries-Hamar assaulted a guard at the Hawaii Community Correctional Center's law library at about 10 a.m on Wednesday Dec. 5 before taking off in a car owned by the prison's librarian.  A short time later, the vehicle was found abandoned about a mile away.

News of the escape has seemingly reached all corners of the Big Island, which has a land area of 4,000 square miles and plenty of forested areas in which to hide. Financial institutions were put on high alert following the escape.

Big Island police created task forces in Hilo and Kailua-Kona to bring the two men back to prison.

Police concentrated their search in Puna and the Kaumana Homestead area of Hilo.

Sometime before noon on Thursday, police rushed to a home on Kaumana Drive above Wilder Road after receiving a call of a burglary in progress. Officers thought the break-in could be the work of Higa and Jeffries-Hamar, but no one was located.

"We have conducted several follow-up investigations as far as trying to locate their whereabouts," said Wagner.  "I think it's only a matter of time that they do get apprehended, but hopefully we'll catch them sooner (rather) than later."

Police confirmed another burglary on Wednesday, also on Kaumana Drive, was in fact the handiwork of the two men.  Wagner said Higa and Jeffries-Hamar took items from the home's icebox, a change of clothes and tried to steal a car in the driveway.

Higa was in jail for an attempted murder charge, after firing a shot at a man at a condominium parking lot in Hilo in July.  Jeffries-Hamar has prior convictions for burglary and theft, and escaped from the Hale Nani Correctional Facility on August 14, before being captured September 8.

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