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Man arrested for allegedly breaking into performing arts building

The Maui News

WAILUKU — A man was arrested Wednesday after he allegedly pried open the back door and was found in the closed Maui Academy of Performing Arts building in Wailuku.

Joseph Groomes, 53, of Hana was charged with second-degree burglary and second-degree criminal property damage.

During his initial appearance Thursday in Wailuku District Court, Deputy Prosecutor Joshua Kent asked for bail to remain at $1,000 for Groomes.

The facility manager reported finding Groomes in the building at 2027 Main St. in Wailuku at about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday while the business was closed, according to a declaration filed in court to support the charges.

When police arrived, Groomes had left the area and had been followed by employees, Kent said. He said Groomes appeared to have caused damage in the building and also to the rear door to get into the building.

If convicted as charged, Groomes could face a mandatory minimum prison term of three years and four months, based on his prior convictions for second-degree theft, unauthorized possession of personal confidential information and unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle in a 2017 case, Kent said.

He said charges are pending against Groomes for allegedly burglarizing the same building in Wailuku two days earlier.

Groomes, who said he didn’t want to have a deputy public defender represent him, said he was at the park when he was arrested.

“I had permission to be there the other time,” he said.

Groomes asked to be released on his own recognizance in the case so he could try to post $50,000 bail on a warrant alleging he violated his probation in his 2017 case.

Judge Michelle Drewyer kept bail at $1,000.

Groomes was ordered not to consume alcohol or illegal drugs and to stay away from Maui Academy of Performing Arts and its employees.

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