Young mother accused of stealing from her own grandmother to buy meth
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A young mother with prior convictions for stealing and unlawful possession of illegal drugs is back in court — once again charged with stealing. This time, she’s accused of stealing money from her grandmother to buy meth for herself and her boyfriend.
Annie Faatupu, who is on probation, was arrested by police over the weekend and made her initial appearance in District Court this past Monday. She is charged with one count of stealing, a class C felony along with one count of disturbing the private peace (PPD) inside her home.
Bail is set at $5,000.
If Faatupu is able to post bond, the court has ordered that she remain law abiding, not leave or attempt to leave the territory, and she must surrender her travel documents to the government attorney. She is also not to make any direct or indirect contact with the government’s witnesses.
Faatupu was arrested at a friend’s home in Ottoville after her grandmother contacted police for help after she found out that her purse containing $630 cash that was locked inside her room was gone.
Several police officers responded to the call and spoke with the victim regarding this matter.
The grandmother told investigators that her granddaughter, Annie Faatupu has been with her for about two weeks now. Since Faatupu came to visit her, she noticed that some of her belongings were missing, including shoes, clothes and money.
She recalled the other day that she left $21.75 on the table after she returned from shopping. The next morning, the money was gone and when she confronted her granddaughter Faatupu regarding the money, she denied taking it.
She also recalled three days prior to this alleged incident when she noticed that some of her clothes and a pair of shoes were gone from inside her room. When she confronted Faatupu, she kept denying any involvement.
According to the victim, that’s when she started to realized that her granddaughter was stealing things from her home. On Thursday, Apr. 23, Faatupu left her grandmother’s home around 2 p.m, and she returned around 8:23 p.m very drunk. Her grandmother scolded her for leaving the house without informing her (victim) of her whereabouts. Faatupu was upset and decided to leave her grandmother’s home.
On the following morning, Apr. 24, the victim woke up around 9 a.m and realized that Faatupu was not in the house. She thought that maybe she was out walking, but it was when the sun went down on that same day that the victim realized that Faatupu was not coming back
The grandmother went to her room and noticed that her purse containing $630 cash that was hidden under her bed was missing. That was when she contacted police for assistance.
Around 9:45 p.m at night in front of an Asian store in Nu’uuli, an off-duty female police officer spotted Faatupu and a male individual sitting in front of the store and contacted the Tafuna Police Station. The off-duty officer was a friend of Faatupu’s from school.
Faatupu was apprehended by police and transported to the Tafuna Police Station for questioning. During a body search, officers discovered a black purse in Faatupu’s possession. When asked who owned the purse, Faatupu replied, “It belongs to my grandmother.”
When questioned by police, Faatupu admitted that she stole her grandmother’s purse containing $630 cash and she used the money to buy food, clothes and meth for her and her boyfriend. She also told police she gave $210 to her boyfriend.
Faatupu was convicted of felony stealing in May of 2018, and subsequently sentenced to 5 years probation under the condition that she serve 12 months detention at the TCF.
However, she was given a huge break by the court when she was credited with the 4 months she served in pretrial confinement; the remaining 8 months was stayed, as long as she complied with all conditions of probation. She was also ordered to pay a $500 fine within 8 months, and secure gainful employment.
One year later in May of 2019, Faatupu was arrested for unlawful possession of methamphetamine. She was originally arrested for disturbing the public peace (PPD), but during a pat down, a female officer discovered a glass pipe containing methamphetamine hidden inside her pants.
In December 2019, Faatupu was convicted of unlawful possession of methamphetamine and sentenced to 5 years probation under the condition that she serve a period of detention of 20 months, however, the court ruled that the 7 months Faatupu served in jail while awaiting the outcome of her case was sufficient and she was released and ordered to comply with all conditions of her probation.
The court also decided not to revoke Faatupu’s probation from 2018 but ordered her to continue on probation.