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Man arrested for attempted stealing & burglary, now charged with illegal drugs

American Samoa District Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A young man arrested for attempted stealing and burglary is now charged with violating local drug laws after police discovered a glass pipe containing methamphetamine and two hand rolled marijuana cigarettes in his possession.

Several police officers responded to a call from a family in Petesa asking for assistance when a young man attempted to break inside their house. A member of the family who contacted police for assistance told investigators that the young man attempted to run away, but he was stopped by two other men who witnessed his action.

Police arrived at the scene and spoke with members of the family including the man who called police for assistance. When police arrived at the scene, they observed two men holding a young man in front of the house. Police were informed that the young man was the person who attempted to break inside the home.

The young man was handed over to police and was later identified as Apelu Fitu, the defendant in this case.

According to the man who called police, they were having their evening service inside the house when he heard a loud noise coming from his aunty’s house which was located next to his house. According to the witness, his aunty is in Hawaii and nobody lives in the house at this time.

After he heard the loud noise, he then stood up and walked towards the house to check where the noises were coming from. As he was trying to open the back door of the house, he heard another noise from inside the house, and it sounded like someone was running to the front door of the house.

As he was making his way to the front of the house, he saw a young man wearing a red t-shirt running down the road, so he followed him and called out to him to stop running. Two other men who saw the defendant exited the house, ran after him and were able to apprehend him on the other side of the road in Petesa — not far away from the house where he allegedly broke into.

Police interviewed other witnesses who gave the same story regarding the incident.

Before he was transported to the Tafuna Substation, he was patted down per normal procedure.

During the pat down, police discovered a small back pouch inside his left pant’s pocket. Inside the black pouch were two hand rolled marijuana cigarettes and a glass pipe containing white crystalline substance.

When asked about the alleged burglary, Fitu immediately apologized to investigators for his action, saying that his life was messed up after his girlfriend dropped him. He told police that he planned to burglarize the house to get some clothes, shoes and money. However, his plan did not go well when he made noise inside the house which alerted the family.

Immediately after he heard a man calling out to him, he left the house and ran outside. He was shocked when two men ran after him and apprehended him.

When asked about the drugs allegedly found on his possession, Fitu said it was a gift from his friend after he helped him clean his house.  Fitu refused to reveal to investigators the name of his friend.

Fitu made his initial appearance in court this week. He’s charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine; one count of unlawful possession of marijuana, both unclassified felonies, along with attempted stealing and burglary, both class C felonies.

Bail is set at $15,000.

Preliminary examination is set at Tuesday next week, May 26th at 1p.m.