Store theft nets man 7-month sentence

LIHU‘E — After serving seven months in jail awaiting trial, Matthew Alexander Caminos entered a change of plea and was sentenced on three charges Monday in 5th Circuit Court.

Judge Kathleen N. A. Watanabe sentenced the Kaua‘i man to time served from Sept. 13 until Monday, and ordered him to follow probation guidelines from another case that require a substance abuse assessment and treatment.

Caminos, 28, was arrested on Sept. 9 for burglary, criminal property damage and theft.

He pleaded guilty Monday to fourth-degree criminal property damage, a petty misdemeanor. He entered a no contest plea to an amended charge of felony first-degree criminal trespass, and to fourth-degree theft, a petty misdemeanor.

County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Rebecca Vogt said the charges stem from a Nov. 28, 2010 incident when Caminos and a co-defendant allegedly entered a Kapa‘a retail store illegally. An employee noticed that $100 was missing from the till the following day.

Police identified a suspect from the store’s video, and it later led to both arrests.

Defense attorney Timothy Tobin said this crime and others involving Caminos occurred nearly two years ago when he was a drug user. He said that after several months in jail, Caminos is now clean and sober.

Caminos is looking forward to waiting employment, Tobin said, and wants to build good standing with his family, friends and community.

Vogt added that the victim is not requesting restitution and that the case has been delayed for medical reasons. She said Caminos has taken steps to change his lifestyle.

On Aug. 18, 2011, Chief Judge Randal Valenciano sentenced Caminos to one year with time served, five years’ probation and $2,000 in restitution on a separate charge. He remains on probation in that matter.

In that case, Caminos pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of second-degree burglary and third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug. Two counts of theft, weapons and another drug charge were dropped.

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