WAILUKU - Bail was increased to $30,000 Wednesday for a Kahului man who was arrested for allegedly stealing a visitor's backpack Tuesday afternoon after being released from jail that morning in another case.
Melvin Quinioneza, 53, was being held at the Maui Community Correctional Center on charges of second-degree theft, theft of a credit card and unauthorized possession of confidential personal information.
Police said the owner had left the backpack on the beach at Kanaha Beach Park at 3:15 p.m. before finding it missing two minutes later. Among valuables in the backpack was an iPhone.
The owner activated a "find my iPhone" app to track the phone and saw it was moving on Alamaha Street in Kahului toward Kihei, police said. Officers responding to the report saw Quinioneza walking on the street with a backpack fitting the description of the one that was stolen, police said.
He was stopped and, after giving police permission to search the backpack, officers recovered the stolen property, police said.
Quinioneza's bail had been set at $1,000. But during the defendant's initial appearance Wednesday afternoon in Wailuku District Court, Deputy Prosecutor John Tam asked that Quinioneza's bail be increased to $60,000.
Tam said Quinioneza has no employment or address and has 11 convictions for contempt of court. On the day of the theft, Quinioneza was released from custody for a criminal trespassing arrest at 9 a.m., just a few hours before the theft occurred shortly after 3 p.m., Tam said.
He said Quinioneza also was noncompliant with sex offender registration requirements and has prior convictions for terroristic threatening, theft, assault, and parole and probation violations.
"The defendant apparently does not have any regard for the court's orders and will not keep his court-ordered appearances," Tam said.
Deputy Public Defender John Parker objected to any increase in bail, saying Quinioneza wouldn't be able to afford even the lower bail amount. "He's going to appear because he's going to remain in custody," Parker said.
Judge Kelsey Kawano set bail at $30,000 and ordered Quinioneza to have no contact with the victim, a woman visiting from Italy.
* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.