Probation meted out for ‘impulsive’ shoplifter

WAILUKU — A man who said it was “impulsive” when he shoplifted four dozen cans of corned beef and nine boxes of Spam was placed on four years’ probation for theft and other crimes.

Jeremy Okamura, 28, of Wailuku was given credit for about three months he had spent in jail before being released on supervision to enter drug treatment in January.

Defense attorney Cary Virtue said Okamura was continuing in treatment, “doing major work on changing and trying to get a handle on his addiction habit.”

In three cases, Okamura had pleaded no contest to second-degree theft, unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug and third-degree theft.

In sentencing Okamura on Thursday, 2nd Circuit Judge Peter Cahill questioned the defendant about one case when he went into the Safeway store in Kihei with a suitcase and left with 48 cans of corned beef and nine boxes of Spam on May 17, 2016.

“I understand there’s a market out there,” Cahill said while asking Okamura what he did with the Spam and corned beef.

“I gave it to my friend,” Okamura replied.

“This is like the loaves and the fishes,” Cahill said. “You opened up the suitcase and all of a sudden, there’s all this Spam and corned beef there. It’s miraculous.

“So you steal something you know you can do prison time on and then you give it away. That’s an act of generosity.

“Is it the drugs that make you do things?” Cahill asked Okamura.

“I think so,” Okamura replied. “It’s impulsive.”

The judge thanked Okamura for answering the questions. “You see this and you wonder what do the drugs do,” Cahill said. “Are they that bad that you could do something so impulsive?”

Virtue said Safeway hadn’t asked for restitution for the food, which was valued at more than $300.

In another case, Okamura was found guilty of shoplifting clothing from PacSun at the Queen Ka’ahumanu Center and possessing oxycodone on Sept. 10, 2016.

In following a plea agreement to sentence Okamura, Cahill referred to the work that the defendant had done.

“I don’t like to tell people they deserve a second chance. They earn a second chance,” Cahill said. “You’ve made the effort.”

Okamura was ordered to pay $2,867 in fines in his two shoplifting cases. He also was ordered not to consume alcohol or illegal drugs and to stay away from Safeway in Kihei and PacSun.