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Police arrest a man who stole a carton of cigarettes

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A young man accused of stealing a carton of cigarettes from an Asian store in Tafuna has been charged with misdemeanor stealing and public peace disturbance.

Malaki Anetone made his initial appearance before District Court Judge Elvis P. Patea this week, where his attorney, Assistant Public Defender Ryan Nelson requested that Anetone be released on his own recognizance.

The motion was granted under certain conditions. Anetone is to remain drug and alcohol free, and he is not to make any direct or indirect contact with the government’s witnesses, or try to enter the store where the incident is alleged to have happened.

According to the government, it was around 11p.m., on June 31st that police got a call about an intoxicated man stealing items from a Tafuna store.

The storeowner told police that Anetone came in asking for a carton of cigarettes and after he placed the item on the counter, Anetone put it in his backpack.

Afterwards, the defendant asked for a case of beer. When the owner went to fetch the beer, Anetone fled, and the owner chased after him for payment of the cigarettes.

Anetone was apprehended and placed in the storeowner’s car by Tafuna residents who witnessed the chase and assisted in his capture.

The storeowner told police that this was not the first time Anetone has done this at his store. According to him, around Flag Day this year, Anetone walked into the store late at night asking for beer, but he told him that it was past 10p.m. and he couldn't sell him beer because he was too drunk.

While the owner was talking on the phone, Anetone allegedly took a pack of cigarettes and walked away. The next morning, Anetone’s mother went to the store and apologized to the owner, before paying for the pack of cigarettes.

Anetone’s next court appearance is July 25th.