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Man charged with smashing doors to get liquor

WAILUKU – A 41-year-old man was arrested for allegedly smashing glass doors to steal liquor from two Kahului businesses Monday and Tuesday.

Ben Driscoll, who gave no local address, was charged with two counts each of second-degree burglary, third-degree criminal property damage and fourth-degree theft.

One burglary occurred at 3:30 a.m. Monday at Tamura’s Fine Wine and Liquor at 199 Dairy Road when video surveillance showed a man throwing a large brick at the glass door, which shattered, according to an affidavit filed in court to support the charges. The man entered the business and stole a bottle of vodka valued at $37.

Between 12:40 and 1:06 a.m. Tuesday, a man threw a large chunk of concrete through the glass door at Minit Stop at 345 Dairy Road. The glass shattered, and the man entered the store and stole a case of beer valued at $16.

Driscoll was identified as the suspect in the Tamura’s burglary when police were called at 8:15 a.m. Tuesday to investigate a report of an unresponsive man lying in the parking lot of Home Depot, police said. Because of his level of intoxication, he was transported to Maui Memorial Medical Center for treatment.

He was arrested after being released from the hospital.

During Driscoll’s initial appearance Wednesday in Wailuku District Court, Deputy Prosecutor Lewis Littlepage asked for the defendant’s bail to be increased from $2,000 to $50,000.

In an active Circuit Court case, Driscoll was given a chance to keep convictions off his record for “doing exactly the same thing he did here” at Olowalu General Store, Littlepage said.

“He has a problem with alcohol, and at this point, he’s a problem to the community,” Littlepage said. “He’s a danger to the businesses.”

He said a higher bail amount was warranted to keep Driscoll in jail.

Deputy Public Defender Gustavo Gonzalez asked for bail to remain at $2,000. He said the amount would be enough to keep Driscoll in jail.

Judge Kirstin Hamman increased bail to $25,000.

“The court is concerned about the safety of the community,” she said.

Driscoll was ordered to stay away from all Tamura’s and Minit Stop locations. He was ordered not to consume alcohol or illegal drugs if released.

* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at lfujimoto@mauinews.com.

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