Accused Tafuna area thief allegedly confesses he stole Nat’l Rugby Team’s uniforms
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A young man accused in a string of thefts was arrested Tuesday night, after he allegedly stole clothing and jerseys belonging to several rugby team players at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Fatu Lolo made his initial appearance before District Court Judge Elvis P. Patea yesterday morning. He was represented by Assistant Public Defender Anna Whiles while prosecuting was Assistant Attorney General Jason Mitchell.
Lolo is being charged in three separate cases.
For the first case, he is charged with stealing, a class C felony.
Lolo is also charged with stealing and first degree burglary - both class C felonies - in two other cases.
Patea established Lolo’s bail at $10,000
If he is able to post bond, Lolo is to remain law abiding, not leave or attempt to leave the territory, and he has to surrender his travel documents to the prosecutor.
He is also not to make any direct or indirect contact with the government’s witnesses, including the victims in this case.
Police had been trying locate a man accused of snatching the wallet of a male customer who was standing in line at a store in Tafuna.
Witnessed told police that the customer was standing in line with his wallet in hand when a young man came from the back of the store, grabbed the wallet, and ran out.
Two days later, the owner of a store in the Tafuna area contacted police for assistance regarding a young man who entered his store at night and took off with money from the cash register, during business hours.
According to the store owner, the man was standing in front of the cashier, waiting to pay for his shopping
There was another customer in front of him.
While the cashier was trying to help bag the customer’s items, the young man - later identified as Lolo - reached into the cash register, grabbed the money, and fled.
Footage from the store’s surveillance camera confirmed the owner’s story.
Police were able to interview several witnesses, including employees, who identified the man in the video footage as Lolo.
While trying to locate Lolo, a man called the Tafuna Substation on Tuesday night, requesting police assistance about a possible break-in at Veterans Stadium, where the American Samoa National 7’s Rugby Team is currently camping, in preparation for the XVI Pacific Games in Samoa next month.
Based on eyewitness statements, Lolo entered the room where the rugby team is staying, while the players were training on the field.
Lolo took clothing items and the team’s uniforms, and allegedly put them inside a bag before leaving the building. A witness who saw Lolo alerted team officials and authorities were later contacted for assistance.
Lolo was apprehended and taken to the Tafuna Substation, where he allegedly confessed to all three incidents.
Fatu is scheduled to appear in court Thursday for a preliminary examination election.