Robber gets
20 years
in prison

Ted Esteban held up six
Oahu businesses over
a 12-day period

A man who robbed six businesses in 12 days late last year has been sentenced to 20 years in prison without parole.

U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway said yesterday that she sentenced Ted S. Esteban to near the maximum prison term because of "the harm the defendant caused to these victims," according to a statement by U.S. Attorney Edward Kubo.

Kubo said that in all of his robberies, Esteban pointed a handgun or a sawed-off shotgun at his victims, and one of the victims still has nightmares.

Between Nov. 30 and Dec. 11, Esteban robbed six establishments: Reynold's Recycling Trailer, a Baskin-Robbins store, Video Warehouse, a Domino's Pizza outlet, Aloha Island Mini-Mart and the Waipahu Salvation Army store.

Esteban, 32, said at the sentencing that he committed the robberies to fund his addiction to crystal methamphetamine, or "ice," according to Kubo's statement.

Police arrested Esteban on Dec. 12 and found a sawed-off shotgun and a .22-caliber sawed-off rifle in the bag he was carrying.

He was charged under the Hobbs Act, a federal act that can be applied whenever interstate commerce is impeded by robbery or extortion. The establishments Esteban robbed sold goods out of state.

Esteban also faced several federal charges related to prohibited firearms.

During the same period that Esteban committed his robberies, another man committed a series of robberies, contributing to a short-term crime wave late last year.

Jay Kwon Young was charged Jan. 8 with three armed robberies committed in the last two months of 2002. Young was charged under the Hobbs Act for robberies at Black Pearl of Tahiti, Ala Moana Comics Arcade and Happy Pawn. He was charged earlier for a robbery at the Stoplight Relaxation massage parlor Nov. 20.

Detectives said Esteban and Young were not working together.


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