Mililani burglar gets 10 years
His victims testify that the damage went beyond material costs
A 35-year-old man was sentenced yesterday to 10 years in prison after admitting to four Mililani home burglaries and two attempts in 2004 and 2005.
During sentencing, Circuit Judge Richard Pollack said "this is not just a property crime, but something more."
Three victims of Marlon Galapon's two-year burglary run testified in court yesterday, describing how the psychological impact of the incidents outweighed their material costs.
Dan and Lacy Estrada's 15-year-old daughter is afraid of staying at home alone or going anywhere without her parents. She was 13 when Galapon broke into her home in June 2005 and confronted her.
"She doesn't act like a normal teenager would," said her father, an Air Force tech sergeant. "We're very happy with the sentencing."
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Paul Mow had asked for 20 years in prison, which Pollack felt was not appropriate because the government had failed to prove a 10-year term was insufficient.
Galapon, an immigrant from the Philippines, pleaded guilty to charges stemming from burglarizing four Mililani homes. He was caught attempting to burglarize a fifth home. While he was on parole, he attempted to burglarize another home.
The first two incidents occurred in November and December 2004. The next two took place in February and June 2005, when he was caught. He was caught again in February last year.
He was expected to be sentenced last March before he made a second unsuccessful attempt.
Items he took included computers, DVD players, digital cameras and an engagement ring.
"It's a hard lesson to learn," Galapon said through tears, adding that he needed to take care of his elderly parents and family. "Give me once chance and let me take care of my elderly parents."
His attorney, Theresa Marshall of the public defender's office, said Galapon had not harmed anyone and was only trying to help his family.
"It was a foolish crime," Marshall said, "but, I would submit to the court, not a malicious crime."
But Pollack said sentencing Galapon to probation alone would only further the damage to victims. They included Gary Masuda, vice president of claims at Dtric Insurance, whose home was burglarized in November 2004.
"I see these kind of things in my line of work, and the perpetrators are always the same people," Masuda said. "They're always out on the street."
Galapon owes $813 in restitution so far, with a third case pending because the amount has not been added up yet.
Oahu has a high rate of property crime. In 2005 the total fell to 42,383 from 44,121 in 2004. Property crime incidents historically have totaled more than 40,000 a year.