Two men accused of burglarizing a home in Tafuna — they allegedly stole a whole safe
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Two men accused of burglarizing a home in Tafuna last month and stealing a huge safe containing several important items including coins worth $5,000 were arrested two weeks ago.
Uili Ropati and David Tahiloa made their initial appearances in court two weeks ago.
Ropati and Tahiloa are each charged with unlawful possession of methamphetamine, an unclassified felony, along with stealing and second degree burglary, both class C felonies, carrying a maximum sentence of 7 years, a $5,000 fine, or both, for each count.
Bail is set at $10,000 for each man. If they are able to post bond, the defendants are to remain law abiding, not leave or attempt to leave the territory, and they are not to make any direct or indirect contact with the government’s witnesses, including the victim.
A defense verbal motion to reduce bonds for the defendants was denied by the court.
The DPS Central Station was contacted by the victim, after he discovered that his home was vandalized on the night of Mar. 29th.
It is alleged that the two men forced their way into the victim’s residence at night and stole several items. They then entered the victim’s machine shop and took off with a huge safe containing important documents. The safe was broken and the contents were taken.
A neighbor who witnessed what happened reported the matter to the victim, who then contacted police.
According to the government, the witness told police that after the men burglarized the home, they took the safe into the bushes and broke into it. Inside the safe were several important items belonging to the victim, including his passport, business documents, and coins worth $5,000.
Ropati and Tahiloa were later arrested.
When questioned by police, Tahiloa allegedly admitted that he and Ropati planned to burglarize the victim’s home to score some cash. On the night of the alleged incident, according to Tahiloa, he and Ropati entered the victim’s residence through the back door, as well as his machine shop, and they took a safe which held several essential items, including coins.
Tahiloa told police they did not count how much money was inside the safe when they stole it.
Before Ropati and Tahiloa were transported to the TPS for questioning, they were each patted down and cops discovered drugs in their possession.
A glass pipe containing white crystalline substance was discovered in Ropati’s pocket, while Tahiloa had a small baggie containing a white crystalline substance on him.
When questioned about the item found in his pant’s pocket, Tahiloa stated that before they executed their plan to burglarize the victim’s home, Ropati gave him a glass pipe containing meth inside and told him to take one hit. After he took a hit, he gave the pipe to Ropati, who also took a hit.
Tahiloa further told investigators that he got the glass pipe from Ropati.
Ropati refused to make a statement to investigators regarding the small baggie found in his possession.