Hawaiʻi Island police have arrested and charged a man in connection with the theft of a Jeep Wrangler stolen during the summer.

The Jeep was taken from the 92-1500 block of Keaka Parkway in Oceanview on August 24. The following day, a Kaʻū police officer observed the Jeep being driven by 37-year-old Lawrene K. Baldonado, who was wanted on two bench warrants for contempt of court. When the officer attempted to stop Baldonado, he fled in a reckless manner, crashed into a metal gate and abandoned the vehicle.

Baldonado was located at 5:45 p.m. Thursday (November 5) in Pāhala. He was arrested and charged with two counts of contempt of court with bail set at $4,000. He was also arrested on suspicion of other offenses connected to the stolen Jeep and taken to the Kona police cellblock while detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section continued the investigation.

At 9 a.m. Friday, Baldonado was charged with second-degree theft, resisting an order to stop, reckless driving, and driving without a license. His bail on those offenses was set at $26,000. He remains the cellblock pending a court appearance on Monday.