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Two men face felony burglary and stealing charges

Loot included laundry detergent and saimin
reporters@samoanews.com

Two men are being held on bail of $10,000 each, as they have been charged in connection with a burglary that occurred February last year at the O&O Warehouse in Petesa.

Mosaiah Olo and Johnny Talia are each charged with first degree burglary and stealing, which are felonies.

The burglary count is a class B felony punishable by five to fifteen years imprisonment while the stealing count is a class C felony punishable by imprisonment for up to seven years, a fine of up to $5,000.00, a  fine equal to twice the amount of gain from the commission of said crime up to a maximum of $20,000.00, or both fine and imprisonment.

The defendants were arraigned in the High Court earlier this week before Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond. According to the government’s case on February 8, 2011 in the wee hours of the morning, a Detective who lives next to O&O warehouse reported to the police station a burglary in progress.

Court filings say that the Detective told the investigating officer that he was awakened by his wife and father-in-law concerning some kids from the neighborhood who were carrying loads of what seemed to be merchandise boxes back and forth from the O&O warehouse and placing them at the front gate of a vacant piece of land next to his house.

The Detective witnessed four suspects removing the merchandise and was able to recognize them by face as they rested under a light pole near the warehouse. According to court filings, two of the defendants were identified as Talia, and OIo.

Court filings say that while waiting for the police to arrive, the witness saw three of them walking from the location where they placed the boxes and sat in front of the store.

The witness rushed from his house in an attempt to approach the suspects but as he was walking towards them, two police units arrived and the suspects scattered by running away and eventually disappeared into the darkness of the night say court filings.

The Detective directed the responding police officers to the stolen merchandise where a total of ten cases were recovered.

The boxes contained three cases of Downy fabric softener, three cases of Ariel laundry detergent, two cases of pure Wesson oil, and two cases of Nong Shim bowl saimin noodles. The total value of the stolen items is $600.00 and the products were photographed and returned to O&O. Three of the four suspects have made admissions to police in this matter.

Talia and Olo admitted to helping remove the stolen items from within the O&O compound along with the two other suspects. The defendants told police that they found the boxes of merchandise on the side of the steps of the warehouse while sitting at the concrete foundation attached to the warehouse. 

Talia denied breaking into the warehouse and said he didn’t know who the actual person was that gained entry into the warehouse on the night of the incident.

Talia and Olo said it was the other suspects who suggested that they remove the items and hide them somewhere so they could be sold later to get cash. Court filings says that when that suspect was contacted, he denied any involvement in the incident. 

According to the government’s case, an inspection of the scene revealed a foot and a half opening through the tin roof cover right under the steps section of the warehouse. 

The hole seemed to be covered by the culprits using the same tin roof after it was broken into. It appears as if this was the point of entry where access was gained and the boxes removed.



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