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Man could be released from jail to enter drug treatment

WAILUKU — A Lahaina man who said he wanted drug treatment could be released early from a one-year jail term to enter the Maui Drug Court program of treatment and supervision.

“I’d like to apologize to the folks that I’ve done wrong to,” Isaiah Makaiwi said as he was sentenced to the jail term as part of four years’ probation last month. “I’m very sorry to my parents. I feel very dishonorable to my family and to my community also. I’m grateful for putting me into the drug program and not putting me back on the streets.”

Makaiwi, 40, had pleaded no contest to first-degree theft and first-degree unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle in two criminal cases. Other charges were dismissed in exchange for his pleas.

One case involved the theft of jewelry from Lahaina Gems at 867 Front St. on July 15 and 16.

After an alarm activated at the business July 16, the owner reported finding Makaiwi in the attic. When the owner confronted Makaiwi, he fled through a hole that held a wall air conditioning unit, according to police.

Makaiwi was again arrested Aug. 18 when he was found wearing the captain’s sunglasses and hiding in a boat at Lahaina Harbor, according to police. Police said someone had rummaged through the boat.

Makaiwi, who has been in jail for more than seven months, was waiting to be admitted into Drug Court, said Deputy Public Defender Zach Raidmae.

“I’m hopeful that he’ll be able to succeed because at least his heart is in the right place,” 2nd Circuit Judge Peter Cahill said in following a plea agreement to sentence Makaiwi. “Drug Court is going to get his mind in the right place. I think more defendants should be apologizing not only to the community but to their parents for the grief they caused.”

Makaiwi was ordered to pay $7,255 in restitution to Lahaina Gems.

Raidmae said that although the jewelry missing from the store had a retail value of $30,000, the wholesale value was four times less. “It’s quite an incredible markup for the jewelry industry,” he said.

The lower amount was recommended in calculating the restitution, which also covered damage to the air conditioner, Raidmae said.

Judge Cahill said the business owner could make a claim for a larger amount by showing the loss in profits.

“The jewelry’s gone and yes, they can replace it at those wholesale values,” he said. “But that doesn’t mean the the folks haven’t suffered a loss.

“There’s a big markup on this. So what? Is that illegal? Is that unconstitutional? The answer is no.”

Deputy Prosecutor Brandon Segal said Makaiwi shouldn’t have a windfall from the stolen items that weren’t recovered.

“Presumably the defendant still has them or he sold them,” Segal said. “He’s still benefiting from that theft.”

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

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