Man who stole from friend freed
WAILUKU – A Kihei man was released from jail Friday after more than four months and was ordered to repay more than $22,000 for using a friend’s bank card to withdraw money and make charges without permission.
“With a friend like you, who needs enemies?” 2nd Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo asked as she sentenced Dallas Fry. “This is how you repay your friendship.”
Fry, 42, also was placed on five years’ probation after he had pleaded no contest to first-degree theft, fraudulent use of a credit card and theft of a credit card.
According to court records, Fry had been asked to check his friend’s mailbox while he was out of state from March 20 to May 16. The friend had told Fry he was expecting an automated teller machine card.
When the friend returned to the state, he found no mail containing the card. Two days later, when he went to the bank, more than $20,000 was missing from his account.
The missing money included 75 unauthorized withdrawals totaling $18,400, and $4,030 in purchases. Surveillance photos showed Fry making the withdrawals and his van in the area.
Deputy Public Defender William “Pili” McGrath said that the restitution of $22,315 would be Fry’s “true punishment.”
Fry has been working while in jail and would continue once released, McGrath said.
“If he’s working more, he won’t need to steal and he will be able to pay back this man,” McGrath said.
But Deputy Prosecutor Lewis Littlepage said Fry had been working before and had prior drug arrests, although he has no convictions.
“Getting back to work doesn’t seem to help his drug problem,” Littlepage said. “He had this work before and he has all these drug problems.”
Littlepage recommended residential rather than outpatient drug treatment for Fry, who admitted using oxycodone. Fry was under the influence of the narcotic drug during his substance abuse evaluation, Littlepage said, and was taken back into custody for not reporting for supervision and drug testing.
Loo denied Fry’s requests for a chance to keep the convictions off his record or to be sentenced under a law that applies for first-time drug-related offenders.
The judge said that the denial was based on the number of times Fry used the victim’s bank card during the five-week period, making 75 unauthorized withdrawals and 51 purchases.
“So many charges over this short period of time,” Loo told Fry. “I think you need to realize you do have a drug problem.”
Loo noted that Fry and the victim had been friends for 12 years.
In another sentencing Friday, a 35-year-old Kahului woman was placed on five years’ probation after an iPhone stolen in a car break-in was tracked to a Kahului home last year.
Cynthia Cameron was released from jail Friday after more than five months.
Loo sentenced Cameron under a law allowing probation and drug treatment instead of prison for first-time drug-related offenders.
Cameron had pleaded no contest to first-degree unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle, three counts of second-degree theft, unauthorized possession of confidential personal information, two counts of fraudulent use of a credit card, theft of a credit card, a reduced charge of third-degree identity theft and fourth-degree criminal property damage.
Deputy Prosecutor Justine Hura said the car break-in occurred July 19 while two tourists and their children were at Olivine Pools in Kahakuloa, leaving the car for about a half hour. A window was smashed and items removed including the iPhone, identification and credit cards.
“An hour later, about the time it would take to drive from Kahakuloa to town, purchases were made with the female victim’s credit cards,” Hura said.
When Cameron was questioned about why she looked different from the photo on identification, co-defendant Aaron Cabasug said she had lost weight, Hura said.
After the stolen iPhone was tracked to Cabasug’s home, many of the stolen items were found, Hura said. But she said the iPhone was turned off while police were at the home and wasn’t found.
As part of her plea agreement recommending probation and no additional jail, Cameron agreed to try to help find the phone so it can be returned to the owner.
“I believe she will make a good faith effort,” McGrath said.
He said Cameron previously had stayed clean for 14 years before relapsing. “She does wrong things when she’s running on drugs,” McGrath said. “She does realize her life was better when she quit drugs.”
In court, Cameron said she was sorry. “I deserve what I’m getting,” she said.
Hura said she was “heartened” to hear Cameron take responsibility.
“Worse than an addict is an addict who steals to support her addiction,” Hura said.
Cameron was ordered to pay $1,197 in restitution.
“I don’t care if this was a rental vehicle or a local’s vehicle, you have no business doing this smash-and-grab in Kahakuloa,” Loo told Cameron. “It’s people like you, unfortunately, that give Maui a bad name.”
Loo followed a plea agreement in sentencing Cameron. “This is your one opportunity to make good,” Loo said.
Cabasug is awaiting sentencing after pleading no contest in the case.
* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.