Thursday, February 4, 1999

Maryknoll kids
fear return of
school burglars

The stolen property will be
returned, but restoring trust
will take a while

By Jaymes K. Song


Stolen computers, printers, a refrigerator and even toothbrushes will be returned soon to Maryknoll Grade School.

What will take longer is the trust of the 51 students in Milton Makishi's first-grade class and Lisa Volk's second-grade class.

The students are worried that the burglars are "coming back to take things again," Makishi said.

"At this age (6 to 8 years), they believe everything is good and happy," Volk said.

Eight Apple computers, two new Epson printers, a refrigerator, a videocassette recorder, two compact disc players, an electronic chess game, a fan and 75 toothbrushes were stolen from two first-floor classrooms on Martin Luther King Day.

The suspects even rummaged through the children's desks. One had stubbed out a cigarette on the teacher's calendar that listed the class' Computer Day.

The teachers have been telling students that police will take care of them. Volk said that when students heard of the arrest of suspects, they cheered.

Five men were arrested in the burglary earlier this week. Two men, 24 and 25, were booked for possessing stolen property and released pending further investigation. The three others, all of whom are 24 years old, were charged with two counts of second-degree burglary, said Honolulu police Detective Derrick Kiyotoki.

Jesse Kapololu, who has no address, is being held on $100,000 bail. Daniel Lee Suan Jr. and Tommy Lee Hong are being held on $11,000 bail each.

Kapololu was arrested after detectives learned his identity through pawnshop receipts for computer equipment.

He then led police to Suan's Keeaumoku Street home, where they recovered more stolen equipment.

Maryknoll is the sixth school Kapololu is accused of breaking into. Among his numerous arrests are three felony convictions for burglarizing Jarrett Intermediate School on Aug. 4, 1997, Kaimuki Intermediate on Aug. 13, 1997 and Liholiho Elementary on Sept. 6, 1997. He pleaded guilty to all three.

During his arrest following the Liholiho burglary, Kapololu admitted to five school burglaries and a drug problem, according to the prosecutor's office.

He was sentenced to five years probation, six months in prison and was ordered to pay the schools $1,616.99 restitution.

As a condition of his probation, Kapololu was to "stay away from all schools."

Although two computers are still missing, two computers were donated by a police officer and a woman, both of whom had no ties to the school.

But the school might be overstocked with toothbrushes.

The box of 75 stolen toothbrushes was recovered, and a dentist, an alumnus of the school, donated toothbrushes to replace the stolen ones so the children could have "dental week" this month.

"The bottom line is these poor kids," Kiyotoki said. "Why would any guys want to take away and punish the kids?"

Makishi said one thing the students learned, besides not to take other people's property, is that the good guys always win in the end.

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