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Repeat burglar will be sentenced next month

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 24-year-old man who was criminally charged for breaking-in to three homes will be sentenced next month, following the court's acceptance of a plea agreement between him and the government.

Mata’u Falani pled guilty to three counts of first-degree burglary, all felonies, and the remaining charges were dismissed, as part of the plea agreement.

Falani, who has been in custody since his arrest last year, unable to post a $15,000 surety bond, admits that between Nov. 14- 25, 2017 in Tafeta, he unlawfully entered three homes for the purpose of committing a crime.

On the night of Nov. 14th, Falani unlawfully entered a home around 2:32 a.m and stole several items without the owner’s permission. He told the court that the items he stole were a couple of iPads, a laptop, DVD, and two men's watches.

On the night of Nov. 19th, Falani entered another home without permission by damaging the back door and taking off with a small container that held $231 cash and a toolbox, which he later sold to Tevita Apete of Pava’ia’i for $50.

During the early morning hours of Nov. 25th, Falani admits that he entered a home in Tafeta and stole several items including clothes, two fine mats, shoes, and a new cellular phone.

According to the government, some of the stolen items were recovered by police and returned to the owners. Other items were never found.

The government is recommending a probated sentence and restitution.