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Sticky fingers land two men in court — stealing charges lodged

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The government has filed second degree burglary and felony stealing charges against Felise Naasona, for his alleged involvement in a store break-in last year.

According to the government’s case, police received a call on June 28, 2021 from the victim, reporting that his store was broken into, and that images of Naasona and a man identified as Aliva Falaula, were captured on the store’s surveillance camera.

The police were shown the footage and told that the two men took off with phone cards, $430 cash, food, and two cartons of cigarettes.

Police identified one of the men in the video as Falaula, and they proceeded to his Tafuna home where he was apprehended last year. The search for Naasona was unsuccessful that day.

According to court filings, Falaula admitted to breaking into the store and stealing the items with Naasona.

When police went to Naasona’s residence, they found the cigarettes from the burglary, and inside one of the rooms was a 20-year-old male with canned food and $78 cash on him, who said Naasona had given him the money and canned goods.

The government has yet to file charges against the 20-year-old male. The government attorney informed the court that police are still investigating the matter.

Naasona made his initial appearance in District Court two weeks ago and bail is set at $10,000. Preliminary examination is scheduled for next week.


A young man accused of damaging a vehicle belonging to a businessman has admitted to the charge against him.

John Falaniko appeared in Court last month for a Change of Plea hearing.

Falaniko was initially charged with first-degree property damage and stealing, both class C felonies. However, under a plea agreement with the court, accepted by the court this week, Falaniko pled guilty to an amended charge of conspiracy to commit property damage, a class A misdemeanor.

With his guilty plea, Falaniko admits that on Jan. 30, 2021, he, along with another person, damaged the glass window of a truck belonging to a man, who owns a store in the Tafuna area.

According to terms of the plea agreement, the damaged window cost $1,110.84. The government is recommending probation and restitution of $1,110.84.

Falaniko, who is out on bond, will be sentenced May 16.