Man gets 4 years’ probation for theft of $4 in quarters

The Maui News

WAILUKU — A man who was arrested for stealing $4 in quarters and recyclables from a pickup truck has been placed on four years’ probation and ordered to perform 200 hours of community service. 

“It’s ironic that you were stealing recyclables when you used to work at a recycling center,” 2nd Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo said in sentencing Sean Sato on Monday. “The real question is are you recyclable?” 

Sato, 50, was identified as one of two men who went into a 2011 Ford Ranger pickup truck parked beneath the building at Kamaole Beach Royale in Kihei at about 5:15 a.m. May 14, said Deputy Prosecutor Jeffery Temas. He said small items, including the $4 in quarters, were stolen from the truck.

The truck belonged to the complex manager, who reviewed surveillance video showing a limousine driving away after the theft, Temas said.

Sato had pleaded no contest to first-degree unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle and fourth-degree theft.

When Judge Loo said the defendant was part of a “limousine gang,” Sato said, “I don’t know about one limousine gang.”

He said co-defendant Gene Moore Jr. has a limousine.

“Every once in a while we cruise,” Sato said.

Defense attorney Benjamin Acob said Sato has denied being the one in the video but pleaded no contest to the charges so he could be released from jail to help his ailing daughter.

Sato was given credit for 69 days he previously spent in jail.

He was ordered to write a letter apologizing to the victim and to stay away from Kamaole Beach Royale.

Co-defendant Moore is set to be sentenced Jan. 18 after pleading no contest to the same charges.