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Couple accused of theft at nonprofit organization for disabled

According to court documents, video surveillance led to the arrest of a Honokaa couple in a four-month investigation of a break-in and truck theft that occurred in April.

On Tuesday, police arrested 39-year-old Brian Maltezo and 47-year-old Sriyani Anang for the break-in and theft of a 2012 Ford F-150 pickup truck at the Brantley Center in Honokaa, a nonprofit organization that teaches job skills to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

According to court documents filed by police, lawn maintenance equipment was stolen as well as the truck, all property of Brantley Center. Also stolen was a credit card belonging to an 80-year-old employee of the nonprofit, documents state.

Police say the stolen credit card was used at businesses in South Kohala, Kona and Hilo. The stolen truck was later recovered and returned to the Brantley Center.

Video surveillance at businesses where the card was used tied the suspects to the theft, according to documents.

Maltezo was charged with unauthorized control of a stolen vehicle, second-degree theft, second-degree identity theft, theft of a credit card, unauthorized possession of confidential personal information, methamphetamine possession, possession of drug paraphernalia, and four counts each of fraudulent use of a credit card, third-degree identity theft and fourth-degree identity theft.

Anang was charged with second-degree identity theft, theft of a credit card, third- and fourth-degree theft, unauthorized possession of confidential personal information, three counts of third-degree identity theft and four counts of fraudulent use of a credit card.

The most severe charge faced by both defendants is second-degree identity theft, a Class B felony punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment upon conviction.

Both made their initial court appearances Wednesday.

Maltezo pleaded not guilty to all charges. Hilo District Judge Charles Hite maintained Maltezo’s bail at $121,000 and ordered him to appear Thursday for a preliminary hearing. Anang waived reading of all charges. Deputy Public Defender Isaac Ickes requested court-supervised release without cash bail. Deputy Prosecutor Herbert Mukai objected to the motion. Hite maintained Anang’s bail at $12,750 and ordered her to also appear Thursday for a preliminary hearing.

On Thursday, Ivan Van Leer, Maltezo’s court-appointed attorney, requested a postponement of the preliminary hearing to review records in the case. Hilo District Judge Kimberly Taniyama set a status hearing without witnesses for Sept. 19 and maintained Maltezo’s bail.

Anang waived the preliminary hearing. Taniyama ruled probable cause exists to try Anang, moved the case to Hilo Circuit Court and maintained Anang’s bail, as well.

Both defendants remained in custody at Hawaii Community Correctional Center as of Friday afternoon.

Police are still hoping for the return of some of the lawn maintenance equipment.

Anyone with information is asked to call the police nonemergency number at 935-3311 or Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.

Email John Burnett at
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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