WAILUKU — Within months of being placed on probation from a purse-snatching in a Kahului store parking lot, a man was back in jail after being indicted on multiple theft charges.
Desmond Pulgados, 25, of Wailuku, was indicted along with another man and a woman for thefts occurring March 16, according to court records.
During 2nd Circuit Court hearings Thursday, Deputy Prosecutor Melinda Mendes described the defendants as “a gang of three who were going around stealing.”
“They went around stealing credit cards and also using them at different locations,” Mendes said. “We have multiple victims in this case.”
She argued against any reduction in bail for Pulgados, who originally had his bail set at $75,000 after being charged with 20 criminal counts. He has pleaded not guilty to second-degree theft, eight counts of theft of a credit card, two counts of fraudulent use of a credit card, four counts of third-degree theft, two counts of fourth-degree theft and three counts of unauthorized possession of confidential personal information.
The indictment indicates that Pulgados and the two others used stolen credit cards to obtain gas, food and other items at businesses in Kihei and Kahului.
Defense attorney Cary Virtue asked for a lower bail amount, saying Pulgados was working about three times a week for a plumbing company and was considered a good employee. “He’s indicated to me he’s not guilty,” Virtue said.
In December, Pulgados was ordered to serve a 60-day jail term and was placed on five years’ probation after pleading no contest to second-degree theft. A Kihei woman who had been shopping with her daughter and infant son at Wal-Mart on July 11 told police that someone grabbed a diaper bag from her shopping cart as she was loading purchases into her car. The woman reported that the bag contained her wallet holding thousands of dollars. Pulgados was later identified as the thief who ran to a waiting car with two men inside. He was ordered to pay $5,149 in restitution as part of his sentence.
In court Thursday, Judge Joseph Cardoza said Pulgados’ probation officer reported his performance on probation was “marginal to poor.” Following a probation department recommendation, Cardoza reduced bail to $50,000 for Pulgados.
Co-defendant Daniel Sugui, 19, of Wailuku, was released on supervision Thursday. He was ordered not to consume alcohol or illegal drugs and to report for drug testing.
Cardoza said he was following a probation department recommendation in releasing Sugui, who has no prior convictions, according to court records.
Mendes said Sugui was involved in taking a purse and using stolen credit cards.
Sugui has pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree theft, five counts of third-degree theft, eight counts of theft of a credit card, two counts of fraudulent use of a credit card, two counts of fourth-degree theft, second-degree forgery, third-degree identity theft and three counts of unauthorized possession of confidential personal information.
Aug. 4 trials are scheduled for both men.
Both were ordered to stay away from 2 Go Tesoro gas stations in Kihei and Kahului; Panda Express on Pakaula Street in Kahului, Taco Bell in Kahului, Minit Stop on Dairy Road in Kahului and Union 76 stations on Dairy Road in Kahului and on Lower Main Street in Wailuku.
An arraignment is pending for co-defendant Destiny Delima, 22, of Wailuku, who was released after posting $75,000 bail earlier this month.
• Lila Fujimoto can be reached at email@example.com.