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Car thief suspect was guilty in the past


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POSTED: Monday, November 30, 2009

A car theft suspect shot by police in Kapalama this weekend pleaded guilty in May to crimes stemming from a similar incident.

Police arrested Reinier M. Sales, 21, after he was treated and released from a hospital Saturday for an apparent bullet wound to the ribs. Police said Sales drove a stolen compact car at a police officer, struck an unmarked police car and then crashed into a light post.

Sales was charged last night with first-degree attempted murder, two counts of second-degree attempted murder, unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, and first-degree robbery. His bail was set at $250,000.

Sales pleaded guilty on May 15 to unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, fleeing the scene of a traffic accident and driving without a license.

A judge granted Sales' request in July for the opportunity to have the auto theft charge dismissed by deferring his guilty plea for five years. Circuit Judge Virginia Crandall ordered Sales to spend 59 days in jail as a condition of the deferral.

Crandall also sentenced Sales to 10 days in jail for fleeing the scene of a traffic accident and 30 days for driving without a license. Sales has two previous traffic citations for driving without a valid driver's license.

Sales is the third auto theft suspect shot by police for allegedly trying to flee in a stolen vehicle.

Police shot Gerald F. Galon Jr., 29, on Nov. 22 in Kakaako.

In 2005, Galon was facing auto theft, driving without a license, drug and drug paraphernalia possession charges. A judge dismissed the charges in May 2008 after Galon completed a Drug Court program.

Police also shot Jeremiah I. Lopez, III, in a stolen sport utility vehicle Nov. 3 at the drive-through window of a KFC restaurant in Waikele.

Lopez, 23, pleaded no contest to charges stemming from a February 2005 incident in which he struck a police vehicle with a stolen motorcycle and tried to flee on foot. A judge granted Lopez a deferral of his no-contest plea then dismissed the charges in April 2008.