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Police arrest a man caught speeding in a stolen vehicle

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Mealeaga Ale made his initial appearance in District Court yesterday morning. He is charged with first degree burglary and stealing, both class C felonies, punishable by imprisonment of up to 7 years, a $5,000 fine, or, pursuant to A.S.C.A 46.2101, a fine equal to twice the amount of gain from the commission of said crime, up to a maximum of $20,000, or both such fine and imprisonment.

Bail is set at $10,000 and the preliminary hearing is Thursday morning.

On Oct. 19th, police got a call from a man, who claimed  that his vehicle was stolen from his Tafuna home. According to the victim, earlier that day, he went out to do some yard work and that’s when he realized that his vehicle — he had parked it in a carport attached to his house — was gone.

Inside the vehicle were numerous items, including a pair of backpacks; vehicle documents and keys; a laptop; and an iPad. Later that same day, a cop who was patrolling in the Nuuuli area spotted the vehicle speeding on the east bound lane. The defendant was pulled over and cited for speeding; and the vehicle was escorted to the defendant’s home in Iliili, near the golf course.

According to a female who spoke to police, at about 5a.m that day, Ale called her for help, asking if she can take the vehicle and hide it. Ale told her the was trying to find someone to take the red vehicle and hide it, because he stole it.

When questioned by police, Ale explained that he and his friends were intoxicated and walked towards Ottoville after leaving a west side night club on the night of Oct. 18th.

He said they went to the victim’s home and saw the vehicle parked on the side of the house. He said he jumped in, turned the vehicle on, and dropped his friend off, on the way to Faganeanea to pick up his girlfriend. But he was pulled over by police for speeding in Nuuuli.