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Police arrest jewelry scammer after elderly man targeted on the Big Island

By Kathryn Doorey

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    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii (KITV) — Hawaii police arrested a 33-year-old man Monday, after he allegedly tricked a Big Island man out of money in a jewelry scam.

Vasile Calin, a 33-year-old man from Washington, was arrested on Monday, July 11, in Kailua-Kona after a 62-year-old Big Island man reported he was a victim of theft.

The Big Island resident told police he was approached by two men on Saturday, July 2, who told him that they were visitors and needed cash because their credit card did not work. The 62-year-old then paid Calin an undisclosed amount of money in exchange for jewelry. He was allegedly told the jewelry was made of real 18-carat gold. After getting it appraised, the man learned that the jewelry was fake.

With help from the public and the victim, officers with Kona Patrol and Community Policing located Calin and arrested him.

Calin was charged with theft in the first degree and criminal simulation. Calin posted $5,500 bail and is scheduled to appear in Kona District Court on August 11.

Police are urging the public to take precautionary measures, especially after social media posts regarding a group of males soliciting jewelry in exchange for cash on the island having been making the rounds on social media recently.

Police advise that those purchasing jewelry should have it appraised by a licensed jeweler prior to completing the transaction. Report all suspicious activity via the police department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311.

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