WAILUKU - A 30-year-old Wailuku man who was caught "basically red-handed" stealing copper and scrap metal from a Kahului baseyard last year was ordered to serve a 30-day jail term and four years' probation as part of his sentence.
On Wednesday, 2nd Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo also ordered Brooks Anthony Williams to pay a $500 fine, serve 200 hours of community service and write a letter of apology as well as stay away from Kitagawa Towing's baseyard along Hobron Lane. He was also given credit for 15 days he had already spent in jail, in accordance with a plea agreement.
"They caught you basically red-handed," Loo told Williams.
She noted that police found his truck outside the baseyard with scrap metal in its bed, which was near a loosened or cut area of a fence at the yard.
Loo said that although Williams' attorney described him as a "workaholic," he chose to steal instead of finding another job.
"I don't understand why you wanted to steal copper."
"Thirty years old, you are not a kid anymore," Loo later added. "Stealing anything at your age is a wash, it is a waste."
Williams asked for the court's mercy. He added that he has worked every day since the incident.
"I know that was a stupid mistake what I did," he said. "I just ask you be lenient on me and give me a second chance."
Defense attorney Ben Acob said that Williams had always worked two jobs and asked the court to be lenient so as not to jeopardize Williams' current employment.
"I believe he has learned his lesson," Acob said.
Acob noted that his client would not be in Circuit Court if not for a law that was intended to catch repeat large copper thieves by making copper theft a felony.
Deputy Prosecutor Jeffery Temas said that an alert neighbor called police after seeing something suspicious around 7:30 a.m. Nov. 22 at the Kitagawa baseyard.
Police arrived and found Williams' truck backed up to the baseyard. Williams was ordered to get out of the baseyard. Scrap metal, including copper worth around $70, was found in Williams' possession, Temas said.
"The defendant placed himself at risk for $70."
Williams pleaded no contest to theft of copper, fourth-degree theft and second-degree criminal trespass.
In an unrelated case, Loo sentenced 23-year-old Kaleo Kubo to four years' probation and gave him credit for the 122 days he had served in jail for stealing a 1991 Honda Prelude earlier this year.
Loo also ordered Kubo to pay $359 in restitution, serve 200 hours of community service and write a letter of apology to the vehicle's owner.
Loo told Kubo, "It's time for you to sink or swim. I'm not going to throw you a life jacket. I'm not going to throw you a life preserver."
Kubo did not show up for his initial sentencing date in May.
Kubo pleaded no contest to unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle for an incident on Feb. 1, court records show.