As outlet mall shoppers went on spree, so did alleged thief
A Waianae woman is in custody on several felony charges for an alleged purse-snatching spree targeting early morning shoppers Friday at Waikele Premium Outlets.
Police charged Elizabeth Malia Aila, 41, with 10 theft and identity-theft counts and with assaulting a man who tried to detain her.
She is being held in lieu of $25,000 bail awaiting a preliminary hearing tomorrow.
Aila was arrested at 2:30 a.m. Friday at the Waikele Premium Outlets mall by Pearl City police officers summoned by mall security. Officers found her being detained by two men and in possession of a suitcase set allegedly purchased with a stolen credit card and containing several stolen identification and credit cards, according to court documents.
The sequence of events, according to court documents, began when mall customer Nicole Carvalho discovered her purse had been stolen. She immediately began calls to credit card companies and learned one card had just been used at the Samsonite Company Store. In response to information from the store, her boyfriend, Michael Silberfeld, checked the mall and saw Aila walking with a luggage set allegedly purchased with a credit card belonging to Carvalho's grandfather. Silberfeld and another man detained Aila.
Items found inside the suitcase included handbags belonging to Carvalho and another female shopper, Natalie Hancock, who had just reported hers stolen. Identification papers and items belonging to four other people were also found, according to an officer's court statement.
Aila is charged with three counts of second-degree theft, four counts of unauthorized control of confidential personal information and one count each of third-degree assault, identity theft, credit card theft and fraudulent use of a credit card.
Updated: Tues., 11/27/2007, 2:30 p.m.