Monday, November 1, 1999

Police charge two, hold
one in mail theft,
forgery ring

Star-Bulletin staff


Police have charged two women allegedly involved with a mail theft/ check forgery ring operating on Oahu.

Tiare Nohalani Sakai, 21, of 1048 Loho St., and Bernadine Pizarro, 33, of 1407 Kewalo St. are charged with second-degree forgery and theft.

Another 33-year-old woman, of Kaneohe, described by police as a "major player," is being held on outstanding court warrants. Federal mail theft charges are pending against that woman, police said.

Detective Michael Nakada of the police forgery detail said over 10 people are involved in the ring.

"There are over 50 victims," he said. "The thefts from mailboxes are mostly on the Windward side, but we've had cases in Aiea, Waianae and Honolulu."

Nakada said thieves look for mailboxes with red flags up, indicating there is mail inside. The stolen checks are then "whitewashed" using a chemical solution to erase anything written in ink but leaving the background design. The checks are then forged, with new payees and amounts written in.

Nakada said the public can guard against mail theft/check forgery by:

Bullet Writing checks in permanent ink.

Bullet Putting mail containing checks into blue U.S. Postal Services boxes.

Bullet Giving mail to the postal carrier.

With the holiday season nearly here, Nakada advised against sending Christmas cash or checks through the mail.

E-mail to City Desk

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
[Stylebook] [Feedback]

© 1999 Honolulu Star-Bulletin