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Arrest finally made in case of burglaries at Sepp’s Wholesale

reporters@samoanews.com

The government has arrested and charged the man accused of two burglaries at Sepp’s Wholesale store back in February where $4,000 cash and other items were removed from the office.

Asofa Titio Jr. is charged with two counts of first degree burglary, two counts of stealing, property damage second degree and property damage third degree.

The burglary charges are class B felonies punishable from five to 15 years in jail, stealing counts are class C felonies that are punishable up to seven years in jail a fine of up to $5,000 or both jail time and fine. Property damage second degree is a class A misdemeanor which is punishable with up to one year in jail, and a fine of up to $1,000, while the third degree property damage is a class B misdemeanor punishable with up to six months imprisonment, a fine of up to $500 or both fine and jail term.

The defendant is being held on bail of $20,000. He's represented by Assistant Public Defender Mike White while prosecuting for the government is Assistant Attorney General Cable Poag.

According to the government’s case, on January 30, 2012 an employee of Sepp’s Wholesale reported to police that the warehouse had been broken into, and two weeks later the warehouse was broken into again.

The government alleges that on February 9, 2012 one of the owners of Sepp’s Warehouse, Terri Steffany informed police of possible leads she received from several anonymous callers who contacted her after she advertised a cash reward for anyone who provided leads to the culprits in this matter.

Court filings say that Steffany provided four names to police, and the defendant’s name was included. According to the government’s case, police proceeded with finding the defendant and questioned Titio Jr., who admitted that it was first back in when January when he broke into Sepp’s warehouse.

It's alleged the defendant was accompanied by a juvenile. The government claims that Titio Jr. told police, he cut the fence wire surrounding the premises of Sepp’s Warehouse using a metal cutter from his house and he used a screwdriver to forcibly open the door to the office to gain entrance.

Court filings say that Titio Jr. admitted ransacking the office and they found cash he claimed was close to $2,000 the first night they broke into Sepp’s Warehouse.

Court filings state that according to Steffany, the cash removed was approximately $4,000.

Then, the government claims in February the defendant, along with two other juveniles, planned to rob the place. Court filings state the defendant told the two juveniles that it was easy to break into Sepp’s Warehouse because he had broken into it before.

It's alleged that Titio Jr. tried to pry open the door to the main office and could not and they took turns, however neither could pry it open. Court filings state that Titio Jr. admitted to police that one of the juveniles bashed the door open, where they ransacked the main office.

Titio Jr. told police he broke into the small office and took a box of coins while the juveniles took bottles of wine, cartons of cigarettes, candies and stacks of BlueSky and ASTCA phone cards.

Court filings state the three allegedly met up at the Lions Park and split the stolen items. They drank the bottle of wine as celebration and hid some of the stolen items in the bushes near ANZ bank.

According to the government’s case Titio Jr. gave the juveniles $20 each in coins, while one of the juvenile’s used five $10 BlueSky Cards, and gave the other five to his friends and relatives.



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