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Two charged in alleged burglary spree in Leone

reporters@samoanews.com

Two men charged in connection with burglarizing a store and attempted burglaries of two other stores in Leone have made their initial appearance before the District Court.

Ryan Pite is held on bail of $50,000 while Siaosi Va’a Jr’s bail is set at $35,000. The pair in their twenties are represented by the public defender’s office. The men are facing two charges of Attempted Burglary Second Degree, Burglary First Degree, Conspiracy to Commit Burglary in the First Degree, Stealing and three misdemeanor counts of Property Damage in the Third Degree.

The alleged burglaries and attempted burglaries occurred on January 10, 2012 during the wee hours of the night.

According to court documents, while the pair were engaged in a drinking session in Leone, Pite asked his co-defendant Va’a if they should break into Mamoe’s store near the area. However Va’a informed Pite they cannot break into the store, because it has a metal lock on the door. Pite told his co-defendant he knew a way into the store. This is alleged to have occurred around 3:30am.

Court documents specify that while Pite attempted to break into Mamoe’s store, Va’a waited outside. The store owners heard noises indicating that someone was in the store. When the storeowner called out to Pite, the pair fled the scene. Court documents say that’s when the victims called police and reported the matter, and that defendants only damaged the re-bar. After the pair fled from Mamoe’s store they proceeded to Lemau’s store, which was in the same vicinity.

About an hour later police received another call from the owners of Lemau’s store that the suspects were trying to break into the store. Court filing says the owner heard noises coming from the store and he immediately woke up and looked at surveillance video on his laptop and saw two men who had their heads covered. It’s alleged the pair was pulling the front door back and forth, trying to get into the store. The storeowner said the men left the store because he had two hammers on hand in preparation to defend his family from the alleged burglars. The owner of Lemau’s store told police the defendants damaged the surveillance camera that was mounted outside the store.

According to the government’s case while police officers were at Lemau’s store conducting their investigation, they received another call that a burglary was in progress around the same area. It’s alleged the defendants managed to break into the last store. Leone store owner told police she heard dogs barking, and when she came outside she saw the two suspects breaking the glass window, reaching inside and taking items from the store. Court document says the defendants took five boxes of candies and two boxes of gum, which were valued at $166.00. The Leone store window that was damaged is valued at $80.

The pair is scheduled to appear again this Friday before the District Court for their preliminary examination.



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