WAILUKU - A man who was arrested after being seen carrying a stolen cash register as he ran down Front Street in Lahaina was sentenced to a six-month jail term.
"If it wasn't so serious, it would be funny," said Deputy Public Defender William "Pili" McGrath. "However, people do notice when you're running down the street with a cash register."
McGrath represented Colin Fraser, 20, of Lahaina, who also was placed on four years' probation as part of his sentence Nov. 20.
Fraser had pleaded no contest to two counts of second-degree theft, with the prosecution dismissing two burglary charges in July 27 incidents.
According to police reports, a worker at a gelato store next to the Gold Mermaid Store on Front Street heard an alarm and saw Fraser running outside the store with the cash register.
Fraser jumped onto a Dumpster near Pioneer Inn and managed to get on the second floor of the hotel, entering a room and stealing belongings from tourists, police reported.
Police caught Fraser on Front Street near the Bailey House.
As part of the plea agreement, which 2nd Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo followed, Fraser can be released after three months in jail to enter residential treatment.
Fraser has already spent more than three months in jail and has been accepted into a treatment program starting Monday, McGrath said.
He said Fraser, who was intoxicated when arrested, would benefit from treatment.
"I realize that I have an alcohol problem," he said in court.
Loo granted Fraser's request for a chance to keep the convictions off his record, saying he appeared to be motivated to do better.
"You need to make a lot of changes in your life," she told Fraser.
He was ordered not to consume alcohol or illegal drugs.
In other sentencings Nov. 20:
* Judge Loo told a 60-year-old Lahaina man he should be "acting your age," ordering him to serve a one-month jail term for possessing methamphetamine found in his car last year.
Earl Pali was also placed on five years' probation.
He had pleaded no contest to third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug for possessing methamphetamine May 9, 2012.
At about 11 that night, Pali was at Mala Wharf in Lahaina when police approached his car and saw the packet of methamphetamine on a console area, said Deputy Prosecutor Tracy Jones. She said Pali refused to accept responsibility for having the drugs by saying the packet had been left in the car by someone who ran away before the police arrived.
"It's unbelievable," she said. "Drug addicts don't leave the drugs with someone else because that's the one thing of value to a drug addict and/or the money and property to buy more drugs."
Deputy Public Defender Jared Brickey said Pali entered the no-contest plea because he understood that "possession is enough for this crime."
"You don't have to be using ice," Brickey said. "He made a mistake by picking up the wrong person. He's not going to be picking up any hitchhikers. He understands he was in the wrong place at the wrong time."
Brickey said Pali doesn't have a significant criminal history.
Jones said that was because some convictions were erased when Pali graduated from the Maui Drug Court program of treatment and supervision in 2001.
While Pali hadn't gotten into trouble with the law for more than a decade after that, Loo said most people Pali's age wouldn't be hanging around at Mala Wharf late at night.
"You have been through Drug Court. You have all this addiction behind you. You should be acting your age," Loo told Pali. "A 60-year-old that's been through Drug Court does not go anywhere near drugs."
* A 47-year-old Kihei woman was taken back into custody to serve the remaining eight days of a 14-day jail term after testing positive for marijuana and methamphetamine use.
Roxanne King had been released on supervision and had pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of fourth-degree promotion of a harmful drug. Jones said the prosecution took into account King's health issues in reaching a plea agreement recommending probation and no additional jail for King.
"We gave her this deal because we thought she was low risk," Jones said.
But when King faced personal issues, "the first thing she did, instead of dealing with them, was to use drugs," Jones said.
King was arrested Jan. 16 at Waipuilani Park after police detected the odor of marijuana, and she tried to hide the drugs in her purse, according to police.
Judge Loo said she was disappointed that King had used drugs given her health problems and knowing she was facing sentencing within a week.
"I'm worried it will happen again," Loo told King. "Give me one good reason why I shouldn't give you any further jail, knowing you just tested positive for drugs."
"I don't want drugs to be a part of my life," King said. "I can promise it won't happen again."
King was placed on one year's probation and ordered not to consume alcohol or illegal drugs.
* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.